Sullivan Arena shifts to seeking smaller events
Anchorage's Sullivan Arena, rocked by falling revenue, is repositioning itself for a new -- and more diverse -- era of tenants.
The arena recently received a new set of tiles, but they weren't for its floor. They're audio tiles that will be installed in the roof.
"It dampens that echo and reverb that you would normally hear at a concert, and it's going to make that sound quality much better than it was before," said Greg Spears, the arena's general manager.
State grants cover the roughly $200,000 cost of the project that should be completed in about two weeks. The audio tiles are the latest effort to help pump new life into the arena.
The University of Alaska Anchorage's hockey program is the main tenant, but the Seawolves have seen fewer fans turn out for the games over recent years.
"Marketing is now more of a community-oriented (concept), it's almost like a rec center; it's smallish events, and many more of them," Spears said.
The Jurassic Tour recently brought people to the arena. It's part of the effort to attract more business.
"it allowed us an opportunity to book new, different, more exciting events; maybe smaller, maybe more community-oriented, but wide variety of events," Spears said.
The Sullivan Arena lost nearly $600,000 in 2016, which also marked the final season for the Alaska Aces. Spears says it's still too early to say where the building's finances stand for last year.
"We haven't finished the audit yet, I don't have that information," Spears said.
The Sullivan is 36 years old. That's a long time for buildings like this. However, Spears say it still has a lot of life left in it.
"Oh, there is so much activity to come here, we're just scratching the surface now," Spears said, as the arena's electronic entrance sign will soon work again for the first time in nearly 10 years.
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