The Savannah Arena Project Groundbreaking was held last Friday, September 13, 2019. The project is located off Stiles Avenue near Gwinnett St. The development of a new arena and the surrounding canal district on Savannah’s westside is one of the largest projects to ever be undertaken by the City of Savannah. The new arena site presents the opportunity to reimagine the Canal District to the west of West Boundary Street, creating a vibrant new center of activity. The multiphase project aims to revive an under-appreciated canal and expand Savannah’s economic vitality.
Many city officials past and present gathered with the many neighborhood residents to witness what has been in the works for several years.
The site is west of Forsyth Park, walking distance from the historic district. Plans call for up to 2,500 parking spaces — few of them visible at street level and gateway bridges across the canal, connected by multi-purpose paths.
Savannah’s Arena will be the catalyst project for the envisioned Canal District, with a 9,500-seat arena that will cost $165 million. The arena will be mostly funded using SPLOST dollars, approved by voters in 2008, with no property tax dollars being expended.
The arena and Canal District will attract visitors, businesses, and a new wave of investment into the neighborhoods of West Savannah. During the ceremony, Rev. Matthew Southall Brown presented the invocation. Mayor DeLoach, Alderman Van Johnson, City Manager Patrick Monahan along with former City Manager Michael Brown and Brett Bell all expressed excitement to have finally reached groundbreaking on a project has been in the works for over 10 years.
Father Daniel Firmin Pastor, St. James Catholic Church Vicar General, Diocese of Savannah presented the benediction.