BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The East Baton Rouge Metro Council decided to approve the $2.3 million upgrades for the Raising Canes River Center.

After the vote, Raising Canes General Manager Wanye Hodes says he feels “Very fortunate and it’s wonderful for the community.”

Proposed improvements included upgrades in security, additional theater seating, basketball flooring and goals, and hockey features including an LED scoreboard and a Zamboni. 

“Gives us an opportunity to diversify our competitors in the marketplace and in the state and region,” says Hodes.

The Raising Canes River Center opened in 1977, holding more than 10,000 people, and currently houses an arena, a theater, and a grand ballroom. Touring musicians, comedians, and various entertainment shows make stops at the Raising Cane’s River Center.

The EBR Metro Council kept deferring the item because they say the River Center already receives significant funding. According to Hodes, they need more in order to keep up with demands.

Now with the budget approved, Hodes and his staff need to work fast before winter comes.

“Part of the funding is getting a new basketball court, we do not have a basketball court, so we would actually have to borrow one from another sister facility of ours,” says Hodes.

This allows for opportunities like the Boys and Girls Clubs to enjoy indoor activities or to host exhibition games for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Hockey is also on Hode’s mind for this season, as well as a possible professional NHL team to join the Baton Rouge area.

Hodes says they have three showcase professional hockey games coming this winter.

If the fans respond well to going to Hockey matches, the NHL team is in the future. Hodes says it brings all facets of the community together to cheer as one.

If you would like to purchase tickets for a hockey game at the Raising Canes River Center, click here.