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City of Mobile announces plans for new civic center

March 27, 2024 · Projects, Announcements

Conceptual Exterior Rendering of Mobile Civic Center Drive | Designed by Populous
Conceptual Exterior Rendering Civic Center Drive | Designed by Populous

The City of Mobile’s motto is “Born to Celebrate,” and now seems like the perfect time to do just that with the City’s recent announcement of plans for a new downtown arena!

On March 14, Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced plans to demolish the 60-year-old Mobile Civic Center and construct a new, world-class entertainment destination suited for concerts, family shows and sporting events.

The new facility will be uniquely designed to support one of the City’s most longstanding traditions and claims to fame – Mardi Gras, in addition to providing a state-of-the-art venue capable of bringing entertainers, big and small, to the Port City.

The design will include multiple features to provide elevated experiences, including retail spaces, luxury suites, VIP clubs, premium seating and more. Flexible seating and layout options will allow the new area to easily accommodate a range of activities, from smaller shows to events with 10,000 spectators and fans.

In addition, multiple ballrooms suited to events of all sizes will enable the City to better accommodate the nearly one million visitors that arrive for festival season, providing space to host Mardi Gras balls and more to keep the party going after the parades.

The venue will also be designed to host professional hockey, ice skating, sporting events at all levels, concerts and live performances.

Live Nation and Oak View Group (OVG) have partnered with the City of Mobile to develop and manage the new Civic Center. Live Nation is the world’s leading live entertainment company, while OVG is the largest developer of sports and live entertainment venues. Together, the two guarantee smooth transitions and operations of civic center events.

Originally, the City planned to renovate the existing civic center. However, after in-depth assessments and planning with leading industry experts, it was determined that construction of a new arena designed to meet modern standards will create a better, more sustainable and longer-lasting facility to serve the region for years to come.

With an office located in the heart of downtown, Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC) is proud to be serving as the architect of record and landscape architect, in partnership with Populous as the design architect, for the new civic center. GMC and Populous have a successful history of working together, most recently on the design of Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama. Other project partners include Volkert, program manager; Henderson Engineers, MEP engineer; Walter P. Moore, structural engineer; and Driven Engineering, civil engineer.

Contingent upon the timely approval of necessary contracts, demolition should begin in August, and construction of the new facility would start in February of 2025. With a two-year construction timeline, the new Civic Center is estimated to open in time for the 2027 Mardi Gras season. Just in time to do what the City of Mobile does best – celebrate.