The ASM Global-managed DCU Center and the City of Worcester have announced that the facility will replace all of the seats and telescopic risers in the 100-level seating this summer, along with all seating in the 200 and 300-level.
With two sold-out Worcester Railers hockey games in January, a near-capacity stop for the Professional Bull Riders in late February, the Massachusetts Pirates kicking off their season of indoor football in March and the only New England concert stops of Breaking Benjamin and Zach Bryan this spring, fans at the DCU Center have a lot to cheer about and not stay seated. But when they do find time to sit down, they’ll be sitting on chairs that won’t be in DCU Center much longer as the facility and City of Worcester have announced the replacement of all seats in the Arena to take place in the summer of 2023.
The City has selected Maine based Hussey Seating Company, the world leader in developing and manufacturing seating solutions for arenas and stadiums. This includes over 12,000 seats in addition to 3,000 floor chairs which will be bid out in the near future.
The new seats will be navy blue in the 100-level with a nod to the Railers team colors and black in the 200 and 300-levels. Recent movie and television productions have encouraged the darker colors as a preferred backdrop to their productions. This change is likely to increase the number of production companies considering the venue in the future. In addition, the new seats will be padded and, where possible, will have cup holders for the convenience of fans.
A sample of the replacement seats are on display on the DCU Center concourse where fans can sample the future comfort coming for next season. As promised year one of the Worcester Railers inaugural season, all season ticket holders will have the option of keeping their named seats. Additional details will be provided later in the Spring after the hockey season concludes.
Other opportunities for obtaining either a bleacher seat or a portable floor chair will also be provided. Those who might be interested should follow the DCU Center’s Facebook page for additional updates.
“Maintaining a modern venue attractive to both patrons and events producers is essential in remaining competitive,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista. “The DCU Center is an important asset to the City as a center for sports, entertainment and business that stimulates the local economy.”
Consistent with other recent projects at the DCU Center, all funding for the replacement of seats is provided through the District Improvement Fund (DIF) and there is no cost to City taxpayers. The DIF allows for the financing of this and other facility capital improvement projects through net new State hotel, meals, and sales tax revenues from certain establishments in the City. The DCU Center improvements are self-supporting, as revenues from the DIF are re-directed and re-invested to meet the annual payments on these loan authorizations for these capital improvements.
The entire project is scheduled to occur over 5 months. The summertime period was selected to minimize the impact to event schedules. Additional capital projects are in the design phase with some expected to occur this summer and others to be completed during the upcoming season. These include enhanced rigging, a new sound system, new convention center ballroom chairs, and enhanced cellular service within the facility among others.
Sandy Dunn, General Manager of the DCU Center, stated, “Over the last 40 years, countless memories have been made at the DCU Center, and we take great pride that the City continues to invest in the facility and that we are continually improving the overall experience for the fans. These improvements are a direct result of our ongoing fan surveys and feedback from our clients and partners.”