GREENVILE GAINS: Gensler and local firm LS3P were selected to design future upgrades to the South Carolina arena, with an initial $170 million investment. (Courtesy venue)

The Greenville Arena District, which owns and operates the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, has embarked on a 25-year master plan to reimagine the footprint and future of the South Carolina arena, which opened in 1998.

“Maintaining our legacy of world-class customer service for fans and clients requires vision, passion, investment and partnerships,” said Beth Paul, general manager of Bon Secours Wellness Arena. “Looking ahead, we’re eager to explore new technologies and industry trends that enhance experiences for performers, promoters, artist teams and fans. This forward-thinking approach is essential for maintaining for our reputation and exceeding our expectations.”

Architecture firms Greenville-based LS3P and Gensler Sports have been awarded the contract for master planning services for the 15,500-seat sports and entertainment arena. The District is also in the process of rethinking the campus as a gateway to further downtown development and selected LMN Architects to oversee the urban design of the arena and surrounding area. The design teams will engage the local community for input throughout the planning process, which is anticipated to take six months.

“We look forward to inviting the public into the planning process, seeking their feedback and ideas to guarantee that the community’s voice shapes the project’s development,” Paul said.

The vision for the master plan will include significant improvements to and an expansion of Bon Secours Wellness Arena, aiming to ensure its long-term growth and transform it into a distinct destination for live entertainment.

“We are committed to creating a distinct destination that embodies a unique sense of place, a hub where individuals come together to enjoy, unwind and create shared memories,” Paul said. “Integral to this vision is fostering a seamless connection with Downtown Greenville, celebrating the distinctive essence and historical significance of The Well and reinforcing its role as a cornerstone of our community’s identity.”

Founded in 1963, LS3P will oversee the project and market study in partnership with Gensler, which was founded two years later in 1965. Both firms bring deep benches of staff – Gensler has a team of 6,000 professionals who partner with clients in more than 100 counties and LS3P has been honored with more than 680 design awards.

Alongside Gensler, LS3P has overseen numerous projects such as Clemson University’s Littlejohn Arena and Raleigh’s PNC Arena upcoming renovations. Gensler’s portfolio covers a range of properties including the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, Los Angeles’ Arena, Milwaukee’s Deer District, Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium and New York’s Citi Field.

“We have selected a world class team to help deliver our vision for the future of the arena,” said Paul. “Our mission is to enhance every aspect of the arena – from the surrounding campus and the building itself to the fan and client experiences, sustainability, programming and security. By doing this, we hope to attract premier talent and set the stage for unforgettable memories.”

Bon Secours Wellness Arena is self-operating with a full-time administrative staff of 32. Each year, the arena hosts approximately 130 commercial and ticketed events and up to 100 communityevents. In Pollstar magazine’s 2024 mid-year report, the venue ranked No. 13 among American arenas and No. 25 worldwide for ticket sales. Since opening, the arena has played host to more than 12 million fans.