ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The lease for the Albany Devils to play at the Times Union Center has officially been extended.
Albany County and the management company for the Times Union Center have come to an agreement with the New Jersey Devils to extend the lease for the Albany Devils.
The Albany Devils are the AHL affiliate for the New Jersey Devils. They will now play out of the TU Center through the 2018-2019 season.
There had been concerns over the poor attendance in the Capital Region and whether the team would renew its partnership because of that. But the Devils believe there’s hope to build crowds back up to where they had been in the 1990s, especially with impending renovations to the arena and the Albany Capital Center that will be built next door.
“Those thousands of people that are gonna be coming to downtown Albany because we haven’t had a big convention center like this,” TU Center General Manager Bob Belber said. “They’re going to be looking for things to do.”
“If we only relied on hockey fans in Albany, we wont make it,” New Jersey Devils President Hugh Weber said. “We have to get people who see this as an opportunity to entertain their clients, to spend time with their family, and hang out with their friends.”
Renovations to the TU Center include a glass enclosed atrium from Market Street to Beaver Street that will cost around $15 million. There will also be an indoor walkway between the parking garage and concourse. Anywhere from $12 million to $14 million in additional improvements will include the concourse, concession stands, suites, and replacing the stalls in the downstairs bathrooms off the concourse.
The funds for the projects have already been approved within the Albany County Capital Plan and will be paid for with county bonds; however, each project will be presented individually to the country legislature for awards for contractors.
The Albany Devils have been playing in Albany since the 2010-2011 season. According to the TU Center, they are in their most successful season in team history. There are six games remaining in the regular season, and the team has secured a spot in the 2016 Calder Cups and has won a franchise-record 42 games.
The team has played around 225 games at the TU Center since 2010. According to the Albany County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the team generates more than $17.1 million per season.
March 22, 2017 is the official open date of the Albany Capital Center.