The Portland Trail Blazers issued a press release this afternoon stating that the Moda Center is in for a $16 million multi-year renovation. This represents the largest chunk of money owner Paul Allen has poured into the business side of the organization during his tenure. The announced changes are intended to improve the live experience for ever Trail Blazers fan, so let’s investigate the bullet points.
- 1,800 Club level seats (AKA second floor seating excluding baseline) will be refurbished. Hopefully this means a little more leg room and a little more cushioning, but I’m not making any promises.
- 20 of the 66 private suites will be entirely redone. It sounds like they intend to do all of them over the course of two years, but they have to start somewhere.
- 12 “studio suites” will be constructed and will feature a more intimate setting (linen table clothes, baby!). These suites are designed for smaller groups that still want to be wined and dined.
- Club level food and beverage access will be changed to a multi-option ticket service. Purchasers will receive a $30 credit with which to acquire sustenance in whichever fashion they prefer.
- The Rose Room will be upgraded to a private membership club that will be used primarily as a conversational business-to-business setting.
- A glass-enclosed bar featuring a panoramic view of downtown Portland will be added on the 300 level. The free-flowing design will make refreshments a breeze for low-price ticket holders.
- More merchandise kiosks will be available in the upper levels to ease congestion on the retail side. Ideally, buying a cap for your kid won’t mean a half hour wade through the people zoo anymore.
- Suite holders will have a lounge adjacent to their suites where they can make cute little origami t-shirts out of hundred dollar bills and discuss tax loopholes.
- Environmentally friendly landscaping changes will be made around the Rose Quarter.
- The Moda Center WiFi access will be upgraded and a Distribution Antenna System will be installed so mobile users can fully utilize their devices without weeping or giving up.
- Color changing LED lights will circle the top of the Moda Center in order to alter the environment. It sounds silly, but trust me, dramatic lighting goes a long way.
- The fountain out front will be refurbished.
- And, of course, the court will be completely redesigned in accordance with the voting of the court design competition.
Basically, a tweak here and there will affect everyone, but not every adjustment is meant to redefine your individual experience. There are some little things for the thrifty fans, some big things for the big spenders (it is a business after all), and some aesthetic changes that everyone can enjoy. Even the team will see significant upgrades to the practice facility in Tualatin (not listed above). This is all very exciting news, and I am eager for all the changes. ESPECIALLY the WiFi. Have you ever tried to get work done from the Moda Center on game night? It’s like running in a dream.