Honda Center renovation plan set

The Honda Center won't have a new tenant this fall but it will start to have a new look.

Anaheim Arena Management, the company which operates the city-owned arena, announced Thursday they will break ground on the most extensive improvement project in the venue's 18-year history this fall.

The improvements include a 12,000-square-foot Grand Terrace, which will be an exclusive indoor/outdoor entertainment space located on the arena's Premium Level. There will be a 250-seat full service restaurant located on the main level, which will be open to the public for all events. The arena will also complete the final phase of suite renovations, which will see upgrades to all 84 luxury boxes.

The Anaheim Ducks team store on the east side of the arena will expand from 1,800 square feet to 4,200, which the press release notes will allow "space for an additional team."

"Honda Center is one of Anaheim's world-class facilities, and the planned improvements will ensure it continues to be recognized as one of the finest sports and entertainment facilities in this country and abroad,"
Anaheim mayor Tom Tait said. "Not only will the improvements enhance the guest experience, but more than ever, Honda Center itself will be NBA-ready."

Tim Ryan, president and CEO of Anaheim Arena Management added, "These multimillion dollar upgrades will have a dramatic impact on the overall fan experience and assure Honda Center stands up favorably next to any arena in the country, including those that house multiple sports franchises."

The major improvements combined with the press release's references to an "additional team," housing "multiple sports franchises" and being "NBA-ready" is the strongest indication yet that the Honda Center is still actively pursuing an NBA team after the Sacramento Kings passed up an opportunity to move to Anaheim last month and decided to stay in Sacramento for the upcoming season.

There is still a chance the Kings could move into the remodeled Honda Center next year if they are unable to get a new arena in Sacramento.

George Maloof, the co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, said last month if the Kings are unable to get a new arena in Sacramento they will again look to move the team to Anaheim.

"We want to come out of this with a new arena, that's our goal, and if we can't (in Sacramento) we have to look elsewhere," Maloof told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "We like Anaheim. That's the only place we're looking at. We haven't negotiated with anybody else. ... It's a dynamic market. We believe Anaheim and Orange County want their own team. It's an NBA-ready facility and they are committed."

Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.