My dream career would be to manage a world-class professional arena. During this trip, I was most looking forward to touring Time Warner Cable Arena: the home of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. The arena is actually owned by the City of Charlotte, but is managed by Hornets Sports and Entertainment.
Time Warner Cable Arena has a very intimate and “homey” feel to it. At a first look, there does not appear to be a bad seat in the entire room to watch a basketball game. I would imagine that visiting teams feel like fans are right on top of them, due to the steep design of the seating areas. In addition to the main seating bowl, there are also a number of ancillary areas that are used for various purposes. Unlike most teams in the NBA, the Hornets practice facility is actually built into the arena. Their executive offices, and practice court, are in the same place where they play their home games. Also the FrontCourt Club is the arena’s fine dining restaurant that has the ability to host over three hundred people. At the very top of the arena, “Rock the Rooftop” is a large open-air space for fans to gather and watch the action from above.
During our tour we learned the architects wanted to include as many tributes to the Carolina’s as possible. A beautiful mosaic mural, which was made up of hundreds of smaller images, greets fans as they walk into the front lobby to honor the state’s basketball history. Additionally, a unique artwork design on the lobby floor adds a very decorative element as well to the main entrance. In the main seating bowl, there is a sizeable amount of sponsorship activations. Large banners drape the walkways around the seating bowl with the logos and branding messages of companies that support the team.
Charlotte city government is exceptionally supportive of the local teams and facilities. Almost every venue that we visited is part of a capital improvement program, with upgrades and feature advancements planned for the near future. Time Warner Cable Arena is currently slated to receive a new wide-screen scoreboard, which will be 180% larger than the current one, as well as expanded and improved concession stands. The upcoming NBA All-Star Game has spurred a lot of capital improvement to the building. We also learned that new seats for the arena are a possibility for the near future.
The people of Charlotte, as well as the Carolinas as a whole, are very lucky to have the spectacular facilities they currently possess. There are many cities in our country that would love to have the governmental support that the local teams and their homes are given. It is no surprise that Charlotte is a fantastic sports town, and with everything leaders have planned for the not-so-distant future, it could easily rise to be the greatest sport and entertainment destination of the South.
–Student Reflection, Joshua Lindsey, Undergraduate in Sport Management