Broome County is looking at ways to improve the fan and concert-goer experinec at the Arena to bring it into the 21st Century.
The county is looking to start the design phase of what could be a multi-million dollar project to make infrastructure improvements and modern amenities to the Floyd L Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in downtown Binghamton. Built in 1973, the building has had a number of renovations over the years, but none that significantly affected its concourse. Possibilities include new concession areas, corner party decks, new lighting and even additions to house offices or year-round bars and eateries. Tom Mitchell, Executive Vice President for Operations for the Binghamton Devils says it’s time to focus on the fan experience.
“From a hockey side, we have everything we need. We have new dasher boards and scoreboards, and lighting and Zambonis and all that stuff. But, it’s all in a 1973 vintage building. This day and age, if you go to the newer buildings and some of those that have been renovated, they’ve been renovated and designed with the fan in mind.”
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says no concrete plans have been made and that the consultant will help the county develop a design before going out to seek state or federal funding to help with the project. He says that even though taxpayers have to subsidize the Arena every year, it’s well worth the cost for attracting people.
“It’s not just what it costs, but it’s how can we attract more people to the area? How can we fill these jobs? All these thousands of jobs that we have open. I think entertainment at the Arena goes a long way toward doing it. So, it’s important that we make investments in it.”
Other issues to address in the renovation are moving the main bathrooms to areas that are accessible and adding more parking.