CLEVELAND – Crews are working around-the-clock to finish renovations inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse ahead of a grand opening and community open house on Saturday.
The $185 million arena transformation project is nearly complete after 18 months. Taxpayers funded a $70 million portion of the project, which increased floor space inside the arena by 60,000 square feet.
“Every square inch of the venue has been completely transformed,” said Nic Barlage, Cavs President of Business Operations.
A 45,000 square foot glass atrium extends across the length of the arena facing Huron Avenue. A multi-story aluminum curtain inside the atrium can be illuminated with lights to create colorful displays visible outside the arena.
The atrium also includes a display with floorboards, rings and the trophy from the 2016 Cavs Championship, as well as a display featuring the Monsters and the Calder Cup.
Digital screens allow fans to find directions to their seats and other places inside the venue.
A walkway deemed the ‘power portal’ with 2,200 square feet of LED screens covering its walls and ceiling connects the atrium to the arena’s concourse.
“We really wanted to infuse technology into every aspect of the fan experience,” Barlage said.
Bathroom supplies, including toilet paper, paper towel and soap levels will be digitally monitored to be replaced as needed.
Along the concourse there are expanded gathering spaces being called neighborhoods that are, in many cases, anchored by local restaurants.
“Every twist and turn through this building you'll see mementos of our city, you'll see our neighborhoods showcased, you'll see incredible events and points in time for our city showcased,” Barlage said.
There is also unique artwork throughout the arena, provided as gift from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and his wife, Jennifer, including a sculpture by the artist Kaws.
There are new members-only lounges, in addition to standing room bars that are open to all ticketholders.
The Overlook bar features sweeping views of the downtown skyline through the atrium. The Budweiser Brewhouse, a large bar in Loudville, overlooks the arena’s bowl.
Aside from new signage and a new floor for the Cavs, the interior bowl remains largely unchanged.
Barlage said the arena has hosted more than 200 events annually and is expected to be even more competitive in booking shows and concerts as a result of the renovation.
“Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse now has become one of the newest and the most up-to-date field houses, or venues, in the entire country,” he said.
There will be a grand opening ceremony outside the arena at 10 a.m. on Saturday, followed by a community open house that will last until 7 p.m. The event is free, but tickets are required and available here.
The first event to be held at the arena will be a Black Keys concert Monday.