GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The Grand Rapids Gold is one step closer to stepping onto the hardwood at Van Andel Arena.
Friday, the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority approved the terms of an agreement between Van Andel Arena and the NBA G League team’s owner SSJ Group, LLC. It marks a new chapter for the Gold, which has called the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center home since the team’s founding as the Grand Rapids Drive in 2014 until the venue permanently closed last week.
“We’ve been speaking with the Gold, as many of you know, for years. Obviously with the DeltaPlex closing, that moved from ‘Hey wouldn’t it be nice’ to ‘Holy crap, we’ve got to get this done.’ So, it’s pretty much done,” said Rich MacKeigan, regional general manager of ASM Global in Grand Rapids.
Gold Team President Steve Jbara confirmed the team’s move to Van Andel Arena in June.
SSJ would pay the CAA $17,000 for each home game at Van Andel Arena during the 2022-2023 season, with the cost waived for one regular season game. The expenses would help over venue use, utilities and arena support staff, including traffic control before and after each home game.
The terms also give the Gold access to the arena for home games and practices at mutually agreed upon times. The CAA will provide the basketball floor and equipment, with SSJ sharing the cost of modifications or upgrades required by the G League.
Under the terms, the Gold will also get 900 square feet of storage space and exclusive locker room access from 7 a.m. the day of a home game until an hour after the game ends.
“We’re very, very pleased to have another 20-plus games at the arena downtown,” MacKeigan said. “It is a positive thing from a financial perspective for the arena and the team is excited with the idea of playing in a new venue downtown, so they feel that’s going to provide some upside for them as well.”
If SSJ signs off on a contract, the team’s two-year commitment would begin October 2022. SSJ would have until Feb. 1, 2024 to decide if it wants to extend the agreement an additional three years.
The Gold’s move marks the first time in 20 years a professional basketball team has used Van Andel Arena as its home court. The Grand Rapids Hoops played there when the arena opened in 1996 until 2002.
Fans can purchase 2022-23 season tickets now by calling 844.9GR.GOLD or by emailing [email protected].