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Mobile's New Arena


The City of Mobile plans to tear down the 60-year-old Mobile Civic Center and construct a new, world-class entertainment destination suited for concerts, family shows and sporting events.

This new facility will be uniquely designed to support Mobile’s Mardi Gras traditions while providing a state-of-the-art venue capable of bringing in major acts that previously drove through the Port City en route to other destinations.

The design will ensure that structurally, funtionally, and aesthetically the arena will meet the current requirements from the sports entertainment industry, allowing Mobile to host top-billed entertainment that could not be hosted in the current Civic Center.

This new arena will have countless features thoughtfully designed to provide exceptional experiences, including retail spaces, luxury suites, VIP clubs, premium seating, great sightlines and dynamic acoustics. Flexible seating and layout options will allow the new area to easily accommodate a range of activities, including smaller shows and larger events with up to 10,000 spectators and fans.

The design also includes multiple ballrooms capable of hosting events of all sizes — offering greater flexibility for Mardi Gras balls and local events and creating additional spaces for conventions. In addition to concerts and live performances, the new Mobile Civic Center will be built to host professional hockey, ice skating performances and many other youth, collegiate and professional sporting events.

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Conceptual Exterior Rendering | Civic Center DriveSite Plan | Civic CenterCivic Center Plan | Level 1 (Ground Floor)Civic Center Bowl | End Stage ConcertFloor Plans | Bowl Design VideoboardsCivic Center Section | Transverse Section Looking NorthConceptual Exterior Renderings | Looking North on PlazaCivic Center Plan | Level 2 (Main Course)Civic Center Plan | Level 3 (Suites)


Partnering with the Best to Create the Best

To ensure the highest level of programming and customer experience, the City of Mobile intends to partner with Oak View Group (OVG) as part of a multi-year operational agreement that includes the Mobile Convention Center, the Saenger Theatre, and the new state-of-the-art Civic Center Arena.

As the global leader in live experience venue development, management, and premium hospitality, OVG is a natural partner for this effort. OVG owns and operates a wide range of venues globally, including stadiums, arenas, theaters, convention centers and cultural attractions. Together with Live Nation, the largest event promoter in the world, they will bring in the performances and events that will make Mobile a destination for live entertainment in the Southeast.



Construction of Mobile’s Civic Center, Theater and Expo Hall was completed in 1964. At age 60, the Civic Center is approaching obsolescence, and the facility is not positioned to attract currently popular arena entertainment due to physical limitations.

The facilities no longer adequately serve the purposes for which they were built. The customer experience is completely subpar when compared to the experience at newer facilities across the region. The competing venues along the Gulf Coast are all newer and are more attractive to both the entertainers and the customers.

Age, physical limitations, and other factors have contributed to the Civic Center being a cash drain on city finances for the last two decades. The Civic Center has had an operating loss of approximately $18 million over the last decade.

Why new?

Over the last two years, Mayor Stimpson’s administration has evaluated multiple proposals to renovate the Civic Center. However, after an extensive assessment with leading industry architects, it became abundantly clear that building a new facility from the ground up was the most fiscally responsible decision. A renovation was projected to cost nearly $250 million, without knowing what additional expenses might present themselves during the project. Based on our current estimates, a new facility would cost an additional $50 million and would address many issues that a renovation of the Civic Center could not.

Due to the physical dimensions of the existing arena, the civic center today is too small for many of today’s top-billed touring shows and sporting events. Many of today’s shows also require a ceiling rigging capacity of 200,000 pounds. Even with extensive renovations, the existing structure would not be able to meet this industry standard. Lastly, renovating the Civic Center would likely extend the facility’s life for only 15 to 20 years. New construction would have a lifespan of at least 50 years.

For these reasons and others, a new civic arena designed to meet modern standards will create a better, more sustainable, and longer-lasting facility.

How much will this project cost?

Based on the current designs, the demolition of the current Civic Center site and the construction a new arena will be approximately $300 million. It will be financed through cash contributions from the City of Mobile, project partners, sponsorship opportunities, strategic borrowing through the bond market and other unique funding sources. This will be the first time Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s administration has ever borrowed money to finance any City of Mobile initiative.

Because of its strong financial position, the City of Mobile can take on a project of this scale without impacting any public services or losing out on other important capital needs across the city. A strategic financing plan will allow all debt associated with the new Civic Center’s construction to be paid down in less than 20 years. We will be sharing more about the financing of this project soon.

When will the project be completed?

In the coming weeks, the Mobile City Council will consider several items related to the demolition of the Civic Center arena, theater, and Expo Hall. The council will also consider an operating partnership with OVG for the existing convention center, Saenger Theater, and the new civic arena.

Contingent upon the timely approval of necessary contracts, demolition should begin in August, and construction of the new facility would start in February of 2025. With a two-year construction timeline, the new Civic Center is estimated to open in time for the 2027 Mardi Gras season.

What will happen to the Mosaics in the foyer of the Civic Center arena?

Conrad Albrizio’s mosaic masterpieces, “Mardi Gras” and “Circus,” will be preserved. The projected cost of the Civic Center’s demolition and the new civic arena’s construction includes funding to safely remove, store and relocate these works of art. The mosaics, completed in 1965, were the last murals Albrizio made before his death in the early 70s. As they are today, these incredible mosaics will be prominently featured in the new civic arena once constructed.

Will the demolition of the Civic Center Theater impact local dancers and performances?

Yes. We know that the planned demolition of the Mobile Civic Center will create challenges for several organizations that have historically used the Theater. We are already working to identify ways to accommodate recitals, performances and other local events while the new civic arena is under construction. We will need everyone’s patience and flexibility, but working together, we will find a way to make these needed improvements and accommodate the current users of the Theater.

It’s also worth noting that the new civic arena is designed to accommodate performances of many sizes, and its ballrooms could easily be configured to host dance recitals and other events. As part of the planning for this project, the City of Mobile is also committed to investing in improvements to the Saenger Theatre to accommodate a broader range of events and performances.

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