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

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

“What can we do in terms of creating multiple programming, for a lot of different portions of the community?” asked Raising Canes River Center General Manager Wayne Hodes.

The facility has more than 10,000 seats and with that many people, Hodes wants to do more with the building.

The Raising Canes River Center opened in 1977 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.

“You know we just can’t be stagnant, we have to have the ability to come out, and if you will compete against our completive set in the region’s events, come here and not else where,” Hodes says.

Hodes’ goal is to fill those seats by bringing in hockey teams and building a basketball court to potentially host the New Orleans Pelicans exhibition games and high school games.

Three hockey exhibition games will be taking place at the River Center in December. If all goes to plan with three showcase hockey games, Baton Rouge will be the only major city in Louisiana to have a professional hockey team.

If the EBR Metro Council does approve this funding next meeting, the general manager says that changes will start within the next few months.