Rio Nuevo approves $65 million TCC improvement plan

The Tucson Convention Center and surrounding campus including the Tucson Music Hall, Leo Rich Theater and the Eckbo Plaza and Fountain, will benefit from a $65 million improvement plan after unanimous approval of the project by the Rio Nuevo Board of Directors on Aug. 13. Rio Nuevo will now solicit bids for a contractor.

The board also voted to proceed with a $126 million financing plan that includes roughly $70 million for the renovation and any other contingency costs.

“This is a great day,” said board chair Fletcher McCusker in a release. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The TCC was built in 1971 and includes 205,000 square feet of meeting space and three performance venues — the Tucson Arena, Tucson Music Hall and the Leo Rich Theater. The facility also houses a pair of exhibit halls, 20,000 square feet of ballroom space and 10,000 square feet of meeting rooms, all located at 260 S. Church Ave.

Tucson Arena also hosts the Tucson Roadrunners AHL hockey team, the Tucson Sugar Skulls professional indoor football team and the University of Arizona club hockey team.

Current improvement commitments include a full replacement of the arena ice floor and ice plant ($3.2 million), a 300-space parking garage in parking lot A ($5.2 million) and an expansion for 45 additional parking spaces ($45,000).

Convention center priorities include renovation of convention space and existing meeting rooms ($7.6 million), arena lighting upgrades ($220,000), streetscaping and connections for accessibility ($2.5 million), landscape restoration in Eckbo Plaza upper area ($1.9 million), and high-speed data infrastructure ($2.5 million).

A meeting room addition will also add 18,000 square feet adjacent to the ball room, costing $9.2 million.

Other priorities include a 500-spot garage in Lot C ($11.4 million); renovations to the music hall to include the restrooms and a lobby, production lighting and sound equipment and new seating ($6.6 million); an outdoor event patio and interior VIP area at the music hall ($780,000); renovations to the Leo Rich Theater to include the restrooms and lobby, production lighting and sound equipment and new seating ($2 million); and improvements to the Eckbo Plaza central plaza and north walkway ($6.1 million).