Photo: Colin Dacre
Prospera Place should be expanded to create more space in what is described as a tight, and compact arena design.
That is one of several recommendations and suggestions contained within a comprehensive 115-page assessment of the 23-year-old arena.
The report, prepared by Toronto-based Stadium Consultants International, was commissioned by the City of Kelowna in 2020 and released to the media after it was revealed the arena no longer meets standards required to host the Memorial Cup.
According to the report, expansion could be attained on both the west and south sides of Prospera Place in order to create more space within an already crowded concourse, more food and beverage options and create more back of house space which could include relocation of the Kelowna Rockets dressing room and creation of other larger, much needed dressing room space.
“A western expansion might be understood of a new front entrance, expanded concourse space, more concessions, washrooms, and possibly more central retail space,” the assessment states.
“The second level of a western addition could provide potential club hospitality space and a more usable outdoor terrace.”
The southern expansion, it says, could free up more interior space along the east main concourse for more washrooms and food and beverage locations.
The report concludes the overall structure of the building is in fair to good shape but, after 23 years of service, “the building needs attention to update and upgrade some of its physical components, equipment and finish materials.”
“As well, design philosophies towards these types of buildings have shifted significantly over the last two decades since it opened its doors.”
It states several areas of the building the authors consider to be “underperforming” should be addressed.
These include improving the fan experience, increasing revenues and improving operations.
The report concludes the food and beverage service has not evolved in terms of its menu and the number of concessions needs to be increased.
“Food and beverage equipment throughout the facility appears to be, as a whole, all original and in need of cleaning, retrofitting or replacing.”
The report states the building is also underserved in terms of washrooms. it suggests increasing the number of fixtures would reduce wait times, allowing patrons more time to spend on ordering food and beverages.
It also suggests increasing the concourse space to reduce congestion within the lower bowl. This, as pointed out, could be partially achieved by expanding the main west entrance and also by absorbing the two large and small tenant space in the north side and integrating them into concourse space.
It’s also recommended fixtures within the luxury suites, which it states also appear to be the same as when the building opened, be replaced and the front glass partitions and doors be removed to open the space.
The report suggests more than $6.8 million in remediation is needed within the building between now and when it is scheduled to be returned to the city in 2029.
This includes nearly $2.6 million in what the report suggests are needed immediately.
That includes $1.4 million in necessary lighting upgrades as well as more that $225,000 to replace carpeting and flooring across much of the arena within the next three years.
Late last week the Kelowna Rockets stated the several deficiencies within the arena prevented them from bidding on the 2023 Memorial Cup, which ultimately went to Kamloops.
“Prospera Place and GSL Group have been, and continue to be, in compliance with our obligations and contractual agreements. This will not change, nor will our commitment to Kelowna,” building owners GSL Group said in response.