|Location||Corner of Hamilton and 7th St, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18102|
|Broke ground||January 3, 2012 (site demolition)
November 29, 2012 (official)
|Opened||August 1, 2014 (expected)|
|Owner||City of Allentown|
|Construction cost||$272 million (Estimated)|
|Architect||Sink Combs Dethlefs
Elkus Manfredi Architects
|Project manager||Hammes Company Sports Development, Inc.|
|Structural engineer||Martin/Martin, Inc.|
|General contractor||Alvin H. Butz Jr.|
|Capacity||8,500 for hockey,
10,000 for concerts
|Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2014-future)|
PPL Center is an arena under construction in Allentown, Pennsylvania scheduled to open in Fall 2014. Its naming rights are owned by the PPL Corporation, which is headquartered in Allentown. PPL paid an undisclosed sum over ten years.
The arena is part of a larger redevelopment project of the central business district of Allentown. The project encompasses a 5-acre square square block area, in which several new structures are planned to be erected:
Competition on Building Sites
Rebuilding an arena on the site of the Spectrum in Philadelphia was rejected in favor of the more profitable Xfinity Live! project and a new 300 room hotel. The competition to build a new arena for the Phantoms in 2008 was primarily between Allentown and Camden, New Jersey. While Camden was closer, Allentown had a more elaborate proposal which helped secure Allentown's bid for the team.
Plans to build the PPL Center at the corner of 7th and Hamilton Streets in downtown Allentown were announced in late 2009. For much of 2009 and 2010, the focus of the project was on securing funding. The project took a major leap forward when in 2011, several properties were purchased by the city to help clear the way for the project to begin. By the end of January 2012, all of the properties had been purchased with final demolition of all buildings occurring in early February 2012.
Much of the current concern about the PPL Center is centered on the huge cost of the arena relative to the cost of other dedicated American Hockey League arenas in the country. Some experts feel that the Allentown hockey arena benefited from funding a plan with no cap. As of October 2012 $224.3 million in bonds have been sold.
In addition to the funding issues, there has been much debate about the economic feasibility of the project, which is in an urban, high crime area that has limited parking available as well as the limited seating capacity of the arena. Also, concerns have risen that the project may not generate enough revenue to cover the cost of construction, which has more than doubled from its initial estimate.
- Dime Savings and Trust Company (National Register of Historic Places building being incorporated into the Allentown Arena complex)
- McEvoy, Colin (January 3, 2012). "As Allentown Hockey Arena Demolition Begins, New Business Announces Office Opening". The Express-Times (Easton). Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Kraus, Scott; Assad, Matt (November 29, 2012). "Phantoms, Allentown Formally Launch Arena Construction". The Morning Call (Allentown). Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- Assad, Matt (April 5, 2013). "Steel for Allentown Arena Complex to Arrive". The Morning Call (Allentown). Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- "High Concrete Group Producing Precast Concrete for Parking Garage of New Arena in Allentown, Pa" (Press release). High Concrete Group. April 28, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- Lash, Devin (April 4, 2012). "Allentown Zoners Approve Butz's $10M Expansion Downtown". The Morning Call (Allentown). Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- McEvoy, Colin (February 21, 2013). "Allentown Hockey Arena Will Be Named PPL Center". The Express-Times (Easton). Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Blockus, Gary R. (September 6, 2008). "Faceoff for Minor League Hockey Team?". The Morning Call (Allentown). Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Kraus, Scott; Assad, Matt (February 4, 2012). "Allentown Hockey Arena Costs Adding Up". The Morning Call (Allentown). Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Kraus, Scott (July 11, 2012). "Arena on Track to Rise in Fall With Pennsylvania Steel". The Morning Call (Allentown). Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Panepinto, Peter (October 2, 2012). "Allentown Completes Bond Sales, Receives Funding for Hockey Arena Project". The Express-Times (Easton). Retrieved October 2, 2012.
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