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U.S. Bank Arena Announces Renovation Plans

Update: 1:29 p.m. Arena officials aren't saying how much the project could cost, nor are they laying out a timeline. Nederlander Entertainment CEO Ray Harris says funding talks are underway with Cincinnati,  Hamilton County, and the Port Authority. "It's obviously got to be a private/public partnership and we're trying to figure that out with them," he says.

Original post: After taking heat following Cincinnati's failed bid to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, the owners of U.S. Bank Arena are launching renovation plans.

Critics suggested one reason Cincinnati lost out on hosting the convention was a lack of an updated arena facility.

Nederlander Entertainment and AEG Facilities say the design concepts were done by local architectural firm, MSA Sport.

In a statement, Nederlander CEO Ray Harris says, "... we know we need to improve our major indoor sports and entertainment venue to continue to be competitive for major events and national acts."

He continues, "We're confident this vision for a new and dramatically upgraded U.S. Bank Arena, when implemented, will give us the ability to compete for and deliver major events on a consistent basis. This is a critical component of our community's economic development."

Design plans:

The new design allows multiple points of entry, making the arena more accessible from all directions. A completely new façade incorporating highly sustainable contemporary materials A continuous walkable concourse around the arena's base will connect the plaza level to the riverfront and The Banks. The total number of seats will be increased to approximately 18,500, including as many as 1,750 club seats. A new suite level, closer to the stage, will allow for 40 to 60 suites, depending on the final configuration, with the opportunity for additional suites to be added on other levels. The need for additional suites at U.S. Bank Arena was a key factor in Cincinnati losing its bid to host to the 2016 Republican National Convention. Added and modernized locker room facilities will provide infrastructure key to attracting a variety of collegiate sports programming including NCAA Championship events such as regional men's basketball tournaments. Multiple and wider concourses that will enhance access and improve safety while providing the ability to introduce new and state of the art improved customer amenities and other services. Greatly enhanced vertical circulation (escalators and added elevators) to provide convenient access to all levels. New exterior video boards and freestanding video signage elements that will enhance the opportunities for branding and promotion. Large open volumes of space that creates exciting multi-level spaces and views.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.