There's been a lot of visible change at the Southeast Event Centre construction site over the last few weeks.
Jeffrey Bannon, the Executive Director for the Southeast Events Group, says it is exciting to see the skeleton of the arena start to go up and we are finally starting to get a sense of scale.
“Last week I actually got a tour on the inside, so I went underneath the orange tarps. I walked to the dressing rooms, I walked through the kitchen, I sort of snuck into the Pistons area, and it's starting to come together.”
Not only are trusses going up, but the arena bowl is becoming visible on our live webcam set up on the top of the SCU.
Bannon notes “It's a four phase plan for the bleachers, they're done phase one so you'll you can actually see the arena bleachers. Now they're starting on phase two, and I believe the last trusses have arrived so you're really going to start to see some more orange tarps go up very quickly. I really want to say by the end of the fall, we should be able to be in there”
Yes, if everything goes to plan, Bannon says they will get early access to the arena portion of the building in late fall.
When will the first events take place?
Bannon says “it's looking like January  right now. Graham Construction hasn't given us a guarantee, but they feel very confident. Barring any major delay, we feel confident in the dates that they've given us, hopefully we can lock them in say in the March-April range because then we have to start to book events. I'm more confident today than I was say pre-Christmas.”
Though lots of the groundwork is already done, Bannon says above-ground construction on the fieldhouse and atrium will begin after most of the structural work is complete on the arena.
In the meantime, Bannon says they are looking to add personnel to the team. He notes they hope to put out job listings for two more positions at the centre on March 1st.
“We'll be looking to post advertising for our Director of Events and Director of Food and Beverage. These two positions will be the linchpin of the center, they'll be the most important people. These two individuals will be responsible for booking the events and running the events and then also the entire food and beverage, which is basically our profit center for the Event Center.”
Bannon says their goal is hire candidates on May 1st. He notes they will search locally first and do a national search if they do not find what they are looking for here. He adds this will be a world-class centre and they want to hire the best people possible.
Finally, Bannon says they are getting close to announcing the name of the event centre and the name of the restaurant.
“I would say the center name has been 99% decided and the restaurant name 99.5% decided.” He adds “I would say between March and April, that's going to coincide with the website and so we're going to do a launch.”