City pays for Gila River Arena repairs

The Glendale City Council has authorized the city to pay for repairs to Gila River Arena.

The Glendale City Council authorized the city to pay for repairs to Gila River Arena on June 25.

The funds are part of the FY2019-20 Gila River Arena Capital Repairs/Replacement Program. The approval directs the city manager to release funds under the terms of the Gila River Arena Management Agreement with AEG Management Glendale. 

The cost is about $500,000 for items like roof repairs, key scan systems, exterior lighting, phase IV camera additions, Magnetomers, ice plant compressor, West Drive lane gate for better control and an emergency generator. 

Dale Adams with arena manager AEG said the roof is leaking and will cost $240,587 to fix. The repairs are not “super urgent,” but he prefers to do it sooner rather than later.  “Whether it’s your house or any other big structure, roof repairs are costly and important,” said Adams, the general manager, vice president event development.

“If it’s raining and the roof is leaking, that’s a problem — especially when you have 18,000 people in there. This is just one piece. Over the next five years, we will repair different parts of the roof. We had to fix this part immediately because it is over control rooms and electrical equipment.”

Gila River Arena also requires a backup compressor for the ice plant, at a price of $55,000. Adams said the second unit will provide the backup the Arizona Coyotes need to play. 

“We didn’t have a backup before,” Adams added. “When the system went down prior to one of the preseason games, we had the subfloor on because there was a concert the night before. No one noticed it until it was too late.”

On the docket, too, is a new key scan system for the entire arena, as the former one was failing. The cost is $22,800.

“We need to make sure the right people have access to whatever area room they need to enter,” Adams said. “With a building this big, we can’t have someone walking around with a master key.”

Some of the repairs are for added safety measures. The city will release $32,413 for new lighting around the building’s exterior. Phase IV of camera additions calls for crews to finish adding cameras to stairwells and the suite level. At a cost of $59,000, the additional cameras are for insurance, safety and security purposes. 

“They link to our command center,” Adams said. “We added a few different cameras so we can see, control, monitor and react as quickly as possible if there’s any thread or accident. It’s an important piece in running these arenas. We have to keep track of everything and everyone in it.”

The exterior lights are important to the safety of guests as well. 

“It’s the same idea with the upgrade to the lighting around the outside,” Adams said. “We’re simply protecting everybody, like the fans and the security who works there.”

According to city paperwork, AEG utilizes its arena management expertise to determine the needed capital improvements on the city-owned facility in coordination with the city. Per the terms of the Gila River Arena Management Agreement, AEG is required to submit a capital budget and a five-year capital plan for review and approval. Under the agreement, the city of Glendale is required to fund at least $500,000 to a capital fund.

Glendale staff is working with AEG to update the arena’s five-year capital plan and will submit it for approval in August.