Huntsville’s Propst Arena unveils $4 million renovation

Work was done backstage at the venerable performing arts center

The Galaxy Lounge is among the features of the expanded backstage area at the Von Braun Center’s Propst Arena.

The Von Braun Center has unveiled $4 million in backstage renovations in the venue’s Propst Arena.

The expansion began in December 2020 and was completed in October 2021, with Matheny Goldmon Architects + Interiors and The Highland Group General Contractor leading the project.

This is the first major renovation to the arena backstage since it was built in 1975. The original space included one locker room that was often subdivided into two spaces, plus multiple small dressing rooms.

With the completion of this latest addition, the backstage now includes six dressing rooms, two private star lounges, four locker rooms, a catering and media room, office space, commercial-grade laundry room and more.

In preparation for the additions, sports tenants and live event promoters were interviewed on what needs and wish list items should be included in the project.

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“The intent of the project was to not only bring our backstage spaces up to current sports and entertainment standards, but to surpass the expectations that touring teams and stars come to expect,” said VBC Executive Director Steve Maples. “We wanted to give them a ‘Wow’ moment when they enter our facility, give them a reason to not stay on their bus and ultimately leave a lasting impression that they’ll share with industry peers.”

The Von Braun Center has brought thousands of events to Huntsville through the arena, including top-tier artists like Johnny Cash, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Chris Stapleton, Jamey Johnson, Jackson Five, Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, The Eagles, Charlie Pride, Van Halen, Alabama and Reba McEntire.

The Southern Professional Hockey League’s Huntsville Havoc also calls the Von Braun Center Propst Arena home and hosts sold-out games every season inside the facility.

In addition, the VBC Propst Arena hosts the annual SEC collegiate basketball game showcasing the University of Alabama’s men’s basketball team during the Rocket City Classic.

The backstage renovations will make hosting future sporting events and large-scale events easier with more space and accessibility for all teams, coaches and referees.

Knight Eady, a Birmingham-based full-service event, strategy and creative agency focused on sports, has been a major partner and component in bringing large sporting events to Huntsville in recent years.

“The Von Braun Center has always been a great host for many of our events,” said Knight Eady President Michael Eady. “The new improvements to the arena will put the Von Braun Center in an even stronger position to continue to host premium sporting events for the foreseeable future.”

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