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The Utah Jazz's unofficial slogan for the next 12 months: "Pardon our dust."
A $110-million remodel of the team's downtown arena is underway, and expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2017-18 NBA season. And as they unveiled renderings and plans for the first Wednesday, officials promised a makeover that would give the quarter-century old building new life.
"We have an opportunity to do something very special that will last for another 25 to 30 years," an emotional Gail Miller said, echoing her late husband's words to Salt Lake City leaders when he first pitched his dream for the downtown venue.
The renovation includes planned upgrades on all six levels of Vivint SmartHome Arena and includes the addition of a 12,000 square-foot atrium to help fans get out of the elements as they move through security, new suites and lounges for fans, and a revamped locker room and other amenities aimed at attracting and keeping players.
LHM officials have already started work on some projects, including adding solar panels to the arena's roof. But fans won't see the biggest changes until after the end of the upcoming season.
"From top to bottom, from the solar roof to the locker room, from the upper bowl to the lower bowl, there are changes in store for the benefit of all," Vivint Arena president Jim Olson said.
From the outside, passersby will see the extended lobby, which will house ticketing and box office services. The renovations will also include the addition of large screens on the plaza for outdoor watch parties.
"We're looking forward to late spring games, into May and June, where people gather to watch the game on the new LED signs as the bowl is filled on the inside as well," Jazz president Steve Starks said.
Inside the arena, plans call for the four corners of the upper bowl to be opened to create a space where fans can gather or seek concessions without having to miss out on game action. The renovation will also include new and redesigned suites and club lounges, and reworked concourses to improve fan circulation. New restaurants, concession and souvenir options will be available as well.
New seats will be put in the arena no word if they will remain green and the stadium's 19,911 capacity will be reduced slightly as a result of the changes.
LHM officials said the project was aimed at improving fan experience first and foremost, but the additions will also help the franchise close the gap some financially with its competition.
"I know it makes a significant difference," Miller said of the renovation's impact on the franchise's bottom line.
Icon Venue Group, a company that oversees the development and construction of facilities throughout the world, will help manage the project. Icon recently has been involved in the restoration of Wrigley Field in Chicago, the construction of the new Golden 1 Center in Sacramento and planning for the new home of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.
"Behind the scenes, this building has great bones," Icon CEO Tim Romani said. "It's a phenomenal building. It allows the renovation project to really focus on fan experience instead of using a large portion of the budget to fix costly projects that are inherent" with an older arena.
Murray Beynon, of SCI Architects, will head the project. Beynon led the recent renovation of Madison Square Garden in New York City, a project that cost about $1 billion.
Utah-based Layton Construction will serve as the general contractor for the project.
The Miller family has said it will foot the entirety of the project's upfront cost. The Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency has pledged up to $22.7 million in tax breaks to help recoup some of the expense.
On Wednesday, Miller said the decision to renovate rather than relocate the arena should prove the family's commitment to downtown and to Utah.
"This should make no question in their minds that we're committed to being here," she said. "We're committed to getting a championship. We're here for the long haul and I hope fans will support us in that, because without them we really can't."