PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Amica Mutual Pavilion and Rhode Island Convention Center are in the process of receiving $19 million in upgrades in an effort to bring more sporting events, concerts, performances and conventions to the Ocean State.
Gov. Dan McKee toured both venues Thursday for a firsthand look at the upgrades.
“The Amica Mutual Pavilion and Rhode Island Convention Center serve as the home to some of the most popular and well-attended attractions and events across the entire state, ” McKee said. “I’m proud that we’re finally making the necessary investments to keep that tradition alive well into the future.
The AMP received the bulk of the upgrades, which range from replacing the roof and installing new subflooring to adding more than 400 seats to the venue’s overall capacity and expanding the VIP section.
“Whenever the AMP is featured nationally, as host to a concert, college basketball, professional wrestling, or any other event, it should be a source of pride for all Rhode Islanders,” McKee continued.
The AMP is also now home to a new video production studio full of state-of-the-art equipment, which general manager Larry Lepore believes could save promoters up to $100,000 alone.
“It’s the difference between a promoter deciding whether they’re going to go to Providence or go to a facility that doesn’t have equipment,” he explained. “For us to get the types of acts and talent that actually draw people downtown, we’ve got to have first-rate equipment.”
Other improvements include new dasher boards at the AMP for hockey games, as well as expanded broadband capacity and Wi-Fi capabilities. Lepore said an upgraded marquee and wayfinding signage have also been installed.
With the exception of the roof, Lepore said the vast majority of the upgrades have already been completed.
The vast majority of the state funding used to complete the overdue improvements was set aside to boost the economy following the pandemic. The upgrades are being supplemented by an additional $10 million in post-pandemic relief given to the venues themselves.