Orange County’s Honda Center is renovating the Anaheim Ducks’ locker room and sprucing up the backstage area. (Courtesy Honda Center)

Renovation at Anaheim’s Honda Center will make office space into locker room

Honda Center and Anaheim Ducks key executives and staff have moved out of their offices in the arena and into a three-building office complex next door in Orange County, Calif., that the team’s owner, Henry Samueli, recently purchased. The move comes in anticipation of embarking on a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Ducks’ locker room and backstage.

“The whole organization is essentially moving into a 400,000-square-foot office next door,” said Tim Ryan, Honda Center CEO and chief operating officer of the Ducks.

“For the first time ever we’ll be on one floor,” Ryan said. “We’re excited about moving.”

Ryan expects the last of the 150-member staff to have moved by April 1.

The move is permanent. The old office will be the site of phase one of the renovation; the construction of a new 20,000-square-foot state-of-the-art NHL locker room for the Ducks, to be completed within 12 months.

“The Ducks will seamlessly move from the old locker room to the new locker room,” Ryan said.

The locker room, which will include a media center, nutrition center and massage rooms, was designed by “people within the NHL. We toured at least 15 locker rooms to get an idea of what is state-of-the-art. The best designers are the people who use it every day. We spoke to players,” Ryan said.

Phase two will be a complete renovation of the backstage area. “Our hope is that as soon as the Ducks’ locker room project is finished, we’ll start on the backstage makeover. We’re going to create a two-story paradise back there,” Ryan said. “We’re looking for an artist loft feel, unique and high-end. We want to create a one-of-a-kind environment; where artists walk out of here and say, ‘We stayed at a beautiful penthouse in a five-star hotel.'”

In order to “hit it out of the park” for phase two, Rengel+Co Architects has been called in to do the backstage redesign and Banyan Group Construction will handle construction. The interior designer has not yet been selected.

How the old Ducks locker room space will be used is still to be determined. “We’re looking at creating a club out of the space, but those plans are not yet finalized,” Ryan said.

Ryan expects that events will not be affected and that all the work to be completed within 24 months.

None if this would have been possible if the Samueli family and the city of Anaheim had not reached an eleventh-hour agreement Feb. 1 to keep the Ducks playing in Anaheim for the next 50 years, a deal that won the Samueli family the right to buy the site next to the arena for a reported $125 million during a protracted nine-month negotiation process.

“We’re here to at least 2048,” said Ryan. “Managing the building is also in the contract for those many years. The Samueli family has put $75 million into this facility over the last seven to eight years and will put in north of $100 million in the coming years. Having the agreement allows us to do so many things to keep the facility state-of-the-art.”

Also included was the purchase of a significant amount of land around the Honda Center from the city. The Samueli family now owns about 50 acres surrounding the arena.

Brad Weissberg