Arena & Canal District

Enmarket Arena

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 Construction Activity

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 Timeline of Activity

Action Taken
August 2021The arena is nearing complete enclosure following successful pouring of the ice floor on August 13. Work will now shift to interior details and seat installation. This quarter our partners announced that a naming rights sponsorship agreement had been reached with a subsidiary of The Colonial Group to name the facility the Enmarket Arena. Work has commenced on the 2,000-space surface parking lot, and a contract has been awarded to fabricate a pedestrian bridge to connect the lot to the arena over the Springfield Canal. Global supply-chain slowdowns and the environmental regulatory process have strained the scheduled completion of the Stiles Avenue and Gwinnett Street widening projects, in addition to the parking lot completion.
May 2021Erection of the Arena's steel roof truss system began in January 2021, and was completed in April. The installation of the glass curtainwall began in February, and continues. The exterior brick installation began in March, and continues. Work is under way to complete the force main running north of the Arena, as well as Stiles Avenue widening between Gwinnett Street and the railroad tracks adjacent to the Arena. The foundations for the attached 400-space garage were completed in May, with vertical construction then commencing. The complete building enclosure is expected in June, with work then shifting to the interior buildout. The City expects to begin construction of the 2,000-space surface parking lot and pedestrian bridge over the Springfield Canal in June.
January 2021Structural steel erection, concrete on deck installation and exterior wall framing under way. Installation has begun in the evening hours to install precast structural elements. On Dec. 22 City Council approved the Guaranteed Maximum Price and contract amendment with AECOM/Hunt to construct a 400-space $13.3 million parking garage attached to the north facade of the arena. Bidding documents being prepared for construction of 2,000-space surface parking lot on 20-acre parcel east of arena. Stiles Avenue utility relocation coordination in process to make way for Stiles widening. Force main and pump station installation north of arena scheduled to commence Feb. 1. The project remains on budget and on schedule to meet Dec. 2021 substantial completion date.
August 2020Utilities and deep foundation work nearly complete, with structural steel erection schedule to begin Sept. 1. On August 13 City Council approved a total construction Guaranteed Maximum Price of $147.6 million. Under this GMP contract amendment, construction manager AECOM/Hunt is obligated to build the arena for less than this amount. This GMP brings the overall project within the total $165 million budget. Not included in that budget is the cost of arena's two parking facilities - the planned 400-space attached garage, and the 2,000-space surface parking lot. The GMP for the garage is expected in September, with construction expected in December or January. The City's development and mitigation plans for the parking lot are currently under review by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. The project remains on schedule, with substantial construction completion expected in December 2021, and grand opening the first quarter of 2022.
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