The Berglund Center in Roanoke unveiled its renovated coliseum interior Wednesday, including roughly 8,600 new seats to replace the 44-year-old “harvest gold” seats that came with the building.
The bulk of the new seats are plastic, but ergonomically designed for comfort, Berlund Center Director Robyn Schon promised. Premium seats — those closer to the action — are padded and have cupholders, and added value for folks who buy the priciest tickets.
At 19 and 21 inches wide, however, the new seats are wider than the ones they replaced, which were 18 and 19 inches.
Meanwhile, about 200 of the old seats were sold to nostalgic types and collectors for $20 apiece, which raised $4,000 for the renovation. The seats alone were $800,000, and the total renovation, which includes paint, LED lighting, section numbers, risers and some signage, cost $1.2 million. Of the seats not sold, 80 percent of the material — 276,288 pounds — was recycled, Schon said. The rest went to the landfill.
Future renovations planned at the Berglund Center include replacing the ice rink, scoreboard and sounds system in the coliseum for the return of professional hockey to the facility in 2016. After that, Schon said, they’ll enhance the sound system in the Performing Arts Theater, followed by a total theater upgrade, and finally renovation of all of the facilities restrooms.