Arena & Canal District

The development of a new arena and the surrounding canal district on Savannah’s westside is one of the largest projects to ever be undertaken by the City of Savannah. The new arena site presents the opportunity to redevelop the Canal District to the west of West Boundary Street, creating a vibrant new center of activity in Savannah’s core. On this web page, learn more about the arena project.

Arena Weekly Report

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Timeline of Activity

Action Taken
July 2020
April 2020
February 2019The Arena design team took feedback from the last council presentation to improve the design concepts.The full presentation can be found here.
December 2018Concept Design Presented to Council: View Presentation here
October 2018Arena Community Workshop: View workshop presentation here.
A survey link is provided at the end of the presentation to provide feedback on the three conceptual designs. The survey will be open until Thursday, November 8, 2018.
September 2018Arena Community Workshop: View workshop presentation here
June 2018

The City of Savannah City Council voted to award the design contract for the new Savannah Arena to Perkins + Will.

The $8,820,000 contract to Perkins + Will, an Atlanta-based company, includes the base building design, interior design, and construction administration for a new Savannah Arena. The Arena will be built on city-owned property near the intersection of Stiles Avenue and West Gwinnett Street.

“The SPLOST-funded project is expected to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Savannah by attracting new events and entertainment, retain and better accommodate current events that are outgrowing existing venues, and serve as a catalyst for new development,” said Peter Shonka, the City’s Arena Project Executive Director.

The method of procurement used for this contract was the request for the proposal (RFP), which evaluates criteria in addition to cost. The criteria evaluated for this RFP were relevant firm experience, team experience and qualifications, project understanding, approach to project management, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation, local vendor participation, and fees. The City received nine proposals from nationally-known design firms.

Based on the proposed schedule of DBE participation submitted by the recommended proposer, the overall DBE participation for this project will be 22.02% using eight certified DBE sub-contractors, which includes women and minority-owned businesses.

December 2017
Contract Awarded for New Arena Project Manager
SAVANNAH, GA (December 21, 2017)— The City of Savannah Mayor and Council just awarded a contract for Project Management Services for the Arena Development District to Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc. The contract is for $2,841,606.00.

The Arena project consists of the construction of a 149,000-square-foot, approximately 9,000-seat civic center arena (additional 1,000 for floor seats, luxury boxes, skyboxes, VIP seating) along with necessary site infrastructure. The cost of the project is expected to be $140 million. This facility will be the largest single project that the City has ever undertaken.

Due to the size and complexity of the project it is imperative that the City have an expert project management firm to assist in the management of the design, construction, closeout and transition to operations of this facility.
Arena Rendering 2 Opens in new window
Arena Rendering
July 2017
City Council approved a contract with Barrett Sport Group, LLC to hire a Project Manager to oversee the design and construction of the planned new arena, to be funded with voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). The move represents another major step toward groundbreaking for this major project, to be located between Louisville Road and Gwinnett Street west of West Boundary Street.

In May 2015 the City awarded a contract for the arena/Civic Center site study to Barrett Sports Group, a nationally recognized industry expert. The City has now contracted with Barrett to hire a project manager to help lead the development process. This is essential to moving the City’s arena and Canal District project forward as rapidly as possible.

The arena project, in particular, will require specialized project management expertise. The $55,000 contract specifies that Barrett Sports Group will assist the City in requesting bids for these services and evaluating the proposals. Barrett Sports Group’s expertise in assisting the City in defining and writing the scope of services for the project manager will be a critical part in making the arena a reality.
June 2017
City Council approved a $1.7 million design services contract for a new City Lot facility to make way for the development of the arena. The existing City Lot, located at Stiles and Gwinnett Street, includes a group of outdated and undersized cinderblock buildings that house much of the City’s public works functions. Those buildings will be demolished, while the historic Water Works building on the site will be restored and incorporated into the larger Canal District plan. A new more customer-friendly facility will be built atCity-owned property at 14 Interchange Court. Read the agenda item.
May 2017
City Council received presentation on the civic master plan for the planned Canal District, which will improve drainage throughout the westside and connect the arena to surrounding neighborhoods and downtown via a 55-acre park with water features, walking and biking paths, and athletic fields. Watch the workshop online.
June 2016
City Council voted to confirm location of arena at Gwinnett Street and Stiles Avenue, located a third of a mile west of the Historic District. View a map of the arena location.
May 2016
City-hired Barrett Sports Group presents comprehensive market and site study on the proposed new arena and analysis of existing Civic Center site.
February 2016
Arena and canal district subcommittees presented their final reports to Council. Watch the workshop online.
December 2015
The City awarded a contract for final design plans for a widened and rebuilt West Gwinnett Street, which will include new lighting and pedestrian facilities, to handle increased arena-related traffic and connect the Canal District with downtown.
July 2014
Subcommittees are formed with local residents and stakeholders to research and make recommendations to City Council in a number of areas regarding the arena: Business Development, Community Education and Engagement, Greenway Planning, Mobility and Transportation, Programming Potential, and Utilization of Current Civic Center.
November 2013
Chatham County voters approve SPLOST 6 referendum, which includes up to $120 million for a new arena, revenue that would be collected from 1% sales tax over next six years.

Arena and Canal District