Michael E. Traynor
Chief Development Officer
The City of Worcester and SMG-managed DCU Center recently completed a substantial $23 million dollar renovation and expansion project at the arena. This was the first major refurbishment project at the City-owned Arena since it opened over 30 years ago.
The Arena has undergone exterior and interior renovations, including a redesigned box office, four new event suites, retail spaces along an expanded concourse and revamped restrooms as well as upgrades to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The Arena endured a five-month period of complete shutdown from May to September 2013 to allow these improvements to occur.
In 2006 through the creation of a Special Finance District Zone, the City has been able to provide the revenue stream to finance the much needed capital investment for the project. The SFD allows for the financing through net new State hotel, meals and sales tax revenues from certain establishments in the City. The DCU Center improvements are self-supporting, as revenues from the net new State hotel meals and sales tax from this District are re-directed and re-invested to meet the annual payments on these loan authorizations for these capital improvements.
The DCU Center Arena opened in 1982, and has yet to have a major capital infusion. Many of the life safety systems and mechanical, electrical and plumbing/HVAC systems are original to the building and well beyond useful life. The majority of the interior of the building is worn and tired. The City's Economic Development Team has worked closely with the Civic Center Commission to develop a master plan to address the building's deficiencies. Key components of the project include:
For a link to the artist renderings of the renovations please view our video on YouTube.