Courtesy Von Braun Center
Meetings and conventions will benefit from numerous improvements. In the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, for example, a center aisle was added, which makes it easier for audience members to move in and out of the 1,955-seat theater. Also, the number of women’s restrooms was doubled, an elevator was added, decor was upgraded and a new sound system was installed.
Among the VBC’s most popular upgrades is a new cafe and bar area in the expanded lobby of the Propst Arena. “Before, the lobby was very cave-like and small with a low ceiling,” said Brandi Quick, VBC assistant director. “Now it is completely open and bright. The lobby area has become the most desired place to have convention receptions.”
In the arena, seating was replaced, a scoreboard was added, the number of women’s restrooms was doubled, concession stands and suites were added and a stage was moved back to allow more unobstructed-view seats. The arena’s seating capacity did not change. New decor in the VBCs East Hall means that in addition to exhibits, the 41,500-square-foot space can be used for banquets. “Before the new finishes were added, it took a lot to dress it up,” said Quick.