PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The newly renovated Cumberland County Civic Center is set to open for its first event this weekend. Today Civic Center officials welcomed us in for a sneak peak.
"You take a deep breath and look around and you say this is pretty good and it feels good", Said Neal Pratt Chairman of the Civic Center Board.
Voters approved a 33-million dollar bond for the project. The final cost will likely come in $1 to 2-Million more than that, due mainly to costs associated with the Winter weather.
Additions and improvements to the building are impressive. They include 6 luxury suites, a loge seating area with premium seats and wait service, brand new seats, more than double the number of bathroom fixtures, a new box office which separates people waiting in line for tickets and those who already have tickets, a new basketball court and many more food options.
Civic Center officials are most excited about one of the least attractive areas, the loading dock.
"One of the things these doors allow us to do is load and unload more than one truck at a time and that is a major cost savings for promoters which speaks right to the bottom line. It keeps the Civic Center in line financially when promoters are considering playing here", said Robert Wright of Event Services.
The Civic Center officially opens to the public on Saturday with the Maine Home, Remodeling and Gardening Show, followed by the Western Maine High School Basketball tournament next week.