New for concourse dining at Citizens Business Bank Arena this year: Urban City Taqueria (Courtesy Citizens Business Bank Arena)
When SMG Worldwide took over Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., two years ago, its three main goals were to improve the content, food and beverage, and guest experience.
The city invested $4 million to achieve the objectives.
The payoff will be clear to visitors this fall to the arena, where all five primary concessions areas have been renovated and rebranded with new stands and menu items and the addition of digital menu boards.
Good Guy’s Sandwich Co. (Courtesy Citizens Business Bank Arena)
Dawg Gone has taken over the Big Diggity Dog space; El Sabor is now Urban City Taqueria with carne asada, nachos and street tacos; Burger is now Fuel, featuring burgers, hot dogs and salads; 4th Street BBQ has been replaced by Good Guy’s Sandwich Co., which offers a variety of sandwiches, including corned beef, turkey, meatball and reubens; and Ciao Now has been transformed into The Pizza Joint, which features big pizza slices.
A new 10,000-square-foot secured outdoor patio has extended the main concourse and accommodates more than 1,000 people.
A $1 million energy efficient ice floor also was installed to do away with the ozone-damaging Freon version that will be outlawed in 2020. The new ice floor uses reclaimed purified water, a rarity in the industry and one of the first systems of its kind installed in the U.S.
“In addition, we renovated the dressing rooms, building out secondary dressing areas with all the comforts of home in the back of house,” said Sue Oxarart, the arena’s director of marketing and communications. “The new area is a much bigger space, with updated bathrooms, refrigerators, a small dining table, countertops and LED mirrors with dressing tables.”
Finally, a new pickup and dropoff area for ride-hailing services was added on the arena’s north side.
Other improvements remain on the horizon for Citizens Business Bank Arena.
“A couple efforts involve whether to move forward with a seating expansion, but we’re still evaluating this to see if it will drive additional concerts,” said Michael Krouse, CEO and president of the arena. “We’ve had interest from promoters who’d like the building enlarged, and we’re for that and have the same goal, but we need to do it for the right reasons We’ll decide this by the end of this year.”
Upgrades to the 36 suites and the addition of an escalator to the third level also have been discussed.
“This area is growing so rapidly, we have to keep up with it and try to stay ahead of it,” Krouse said.