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[bitsontherun ZHtC4kge]TUPELO, Miss. – (WCBI) Several weeks ago, workers removed signage from the Bancorpsouth Arena

Now, they’re putting on a new exterior

It’s part of a $1.6 million renovation for the multi purpose facility.

“It’s been nearly 20 years since we opened up and the building was due for a new color, new looks and that’s what we’re working on,” says Director Todd Hunt.

The facelift will have a dramatic impact on the facility’s appearance. Inside, new paint for all walls, the purple rails will be gone, replaced by a more neutral shade of tan. Also, crews are changing nearly 100 light fixtures.

“The lights over the seating area are being replaced with LED lighting, it’s a much more modern technology, they are manufactured here in Daybrite, in Tupelo,” adds Hunt.

The new lights also have a much longer life span than the older lights.

Also, LED lighting will be placed on the exterior of the building and there will also be a new color scheme.

“When this is all finished it’s going to have some burgandies and browns some tans, it will really fit in with the character with the rest of downtown Tupelo,” says Hunt.

Along with improving the look and function of the arena, Hunt says the renovations will help attract top shows and talent the facility has been known to land for the past two decades. And that, Hunt says impacts the entire area.

“I think it has enhanced the quality of life in terms of shows we have been able to bring through here and it’s been a great revenue generator for the city and restaurants and hotels by drawing people to town.”

Despite a rough economy, the Bancorpsouth Arena has stayed on solid financial footing. Fiscal year 2012 was the best year in the facility’s history. Officials say the renovations are a much needed investment in the building’s future. Improvements should be finished by mid August.

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