ST. LOUIS - There's nothing quite like seeing St. Louis Blues hockey at Scottrade Center - or concerts, family shows and other sporting events for that matter - but those experiences will improve dramatically in late September thanks to renovations that will get underway at Scottrade Center in the coming weeks.
Fans can expect a brand new state-of-the-art scoreboard above center ice, complete with a new sound system and upgraded arena lighting when they return to watch Blues games at the start of the 2017-18 season.
"There's a number of things we're trying to do," Blues President and CEO Chris Zimmerman said in an exclusive one-on-one interview for stlouisblues.com. "The most visible will be the new video board. Right now we have the second-smallest (scoreboard) in the League. The board will essentially double in size, but it's not just the size. It's really the crispness of the video and of the picture. Obviously, that's exciting.
"Also within the bowl, we'll be doing new lighting and sound," Zimmerman added. "In terms of what people will feel inside the bowl, those are a couple of key things."
Video: Zimmerman on upcoming arena renovations
Other renovations taking place this summer include locker room improvements to help attract major concerts and sporting events, like NCAA basketball and wrestling. The building will also receive a limited number of new theatre-style seating boxes, which are all-inclusive and will include access to a members-only bar and lounge. Theatre boxes are available now by calling 314-622-BLUE (2583).
Behind the scenes, the equipment responsible for making ice and keeping it chilled will also be replaced with a state-of-the-art ice plant, which requires the installation of new pipes and a partial demolition of the arena floor.
Zimmerman said that once Phase One renovations are complete, Phases Two and Three are expected to resume again in the summer of 2018 and 2019, respectively. Those projects will include replacing all of the building's seats, making improvements to concession stands and bringing in more local partners like Sugar Fire, along with providing renovated restroom facilities and more.
"Whether it's some of the amenities, new seating areas or new food options, we're going to try to touch as many different things that affect the fan experience," Zimmerman said. "We're competing with new buildings (to attract sporting events, shows and concerts) and we're competing with renovated buildings. The expectations from the NCAA or the SEC or the Missouri Valley Conference keep going up. Some of the work will be at the event level, improving locker rooms, improving the press area. All of those things are part of making sure we continue to be able to get those sporting events, and on the concert side, it's the same thing."
"We'll continue to make the building feel more and more uniquely St. Louis."