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New improvements to American Bank Center's arena proposed for city's 2025 budget

American Bank Center arena suites
Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 01, 2024

CORPUS CHRISTI, Tx — New upgrades are coming to the American Bank Center, specifically to the facility's arena area.

During a Corpus Christi Type A board meeting in June, city staff presented new improvements for the American Bank Center, which was proposed to be included in the city’s arena fund budget for fiscal year 2025.

“The proposed projects are over $13 million," City of Corpus Christi Assistant Director of Economic Development Elsy Borgstedte said. "Some have already started like construction and implementation of those projects which were designed in 2024. But that budget also includes new projects that we feel are important for reinvestment into the arena.”

Of the improvements that are already in the works, the 2024 budget included exterior renovations, new spotlight platforms and replacements within the arena’s HVAC system. For next year’s proposed budget, Borgstedte hopes to utilize the Type A funds to completely renovate eleven arena suites. The suites are located in the upper level of the arena center.

“It's a community asset, it’s a city-owned facility. So it’s important to reinvest in every public asset so that original investment can get protected for generations to come," Borgstedte said.

While Borgstedte and her team presented to the board, one concern the board members had with the improvements to the proposed budget of the arena suites was the price tag. Type A Board President Leah Olivarri and Secretary Diana Summers both stated during the presentation that nearly $245,000 for a suite is a large number.

The presentation showed that the suites alone would cost a total of $2.7 million of the overall $13 million for arena improvements. Breaking that down with more specific numbers, each of the eleven suites would have close to a $250,000 budget.

To add more perspective on the cost for improvements, the budget for just one of the suites could possibly buy you a home here in Corpus Christi. According to the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors, the average median for a single-family home is currently being sold at around $270,000. But it’s not just interior cosmetics of the arena suites that are included in this proposed budget.

“[There will be] new equipment into the suites, audiovisual, repairs that might be needed for the piping, basically what’s in the back of the ceiling. It is definitely an area that has not been touched in 20 years," Borgstedte said.

In addition to changes being made to the arena suites, the proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 will also include preliminary designs of a new roof and upgrades to the facility’s fire alarm system.

There will be another Type A Board meeting on July 15. The board will decide whether or not to move forward with approving these improvements. Once the decision is made, it will then be considered by city council for the city's 2025 budget in August. The City of Corpus Christi's Budget for fiscal year 2025 begins this fall.

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