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(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) – Worcester's DCU Center is home to all kinds of competitions, and now the venue is taking steps so that it can compete for business.
"We are in the competition of our lives," Worcester City Manager Mike O’Brien said. "Manchester, Providence have all invested in their arenas and we have to stay current and make sure we're ready for the fans."
Plans for a $23 million make-over were announced at a press conference Tuesday. The 30-year-old facility will be getting renovations both inside and out. Improvements will be made to the concourse level, including new concessions, new lighting and close to doubling the number of restrooms.
"These phased improvements all go to the fan, patron, promoter experience that ensures these people are looking to us when they want to see a show and also promote a show," O’Brien said.
One major component will be the addition of luxury box seating to the venue, a change DCU General Manager Sandy Dunn says will help give the venue a competitive edge.
"All of that has been important when we bid on events like basketball and gymnastics, they are looking for those suites to entertain their sponsors," Dunn said.
The DCU Center is the top destination bringing people to Worcester, and Lt. Governor Tim Murray says Tuesday’s announcement shows a commitment and desire to invest in the city's future.
"It will put people to work and generate more options for shows and other acts and in the end generate and attract revenue," Lt. Governor Murray said.
Plans for the renovations started in 2005, and are being paid for as part of the state’s meals tax.
"All of that makes a facility more desirable so that means more acts more activity and even a better future," O’Brien said.