Facelift Expected for Bridgestone Arena

200px-Bridgestone_Arena_Logo.svgThe Bridgestone Arena is expected to see $7 million worth of improvements along its south side, on Demonbreun, as part of Mayor Karl Dean’s latest proposal to the capital spending budget.

The city’s investment is expected to take advantage of new foot traffic and parking spaces from the adjacent Music City Center when it opens this May.

Plans from the mayor’s office include updates to the 16-year-old arena exterior, replacing existing concrete structures with glass, and adding retail and restaurants along Demonbreun and Fifth Avenue.

“It’s like any building,” notes Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling of the arena in a report from The Tennessean. “You have to spend some money on it. You don’t want a building to look old and outdated when you have a billion dollars being spent right across the street and catty-corner to it.”

The news outlet additionally reports the arena’s original architectural firm, Kansas City-based Populous Inc., is in the process of designing the updates.

Plans are not expected to remove arena rehearsal space at Fifth and Demonbreun.

Changes will also come to the arena’s opposite side when the Metro Police Central Precinct vacates for a new building on Korean Veterans’ Boulevard. The opened space will allow for expansion initiatives inside the arena. Officials are reportedly working to establish private investment for the development.

The newly filed spending plan will first be voted on Jan. 15 by the council, after which the Metro Nashville Sports Authority would have to sign off on the arena changes.

This news comes on the heels of a collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and players, which is expected to end the hockey lockout.

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] @EricTParker

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