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From Wednesday afternoon:

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From Tuesday night:

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Gawking at the TU Center's new atrium

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The makeover of the Times Union Center's Pearl Street exterior and atrium is finished.

The almost-$20 million project included a new facade with huge video boards on the outside the county-owned arena. On the inside, the atrium was enclosed to make it usable during all four seasons (the space hosted a county tree lighting on Wednesday). It also expanded the mezzanine space, and reconfigured the stairs and escalators. Plus: There's a large falling water feature.

The renovation is part of the overall larger plan to link the TU Center with the new Albany Capital Center and the Empire State Plaza into complex that can use be used to host large events such as the NCAA basketball tournaments. (Both the women's and men's tournaments will be making a stop at the arena in the next few years.)

So let's gawk at it, shall we...

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Comments

Bravo! It was the right decision to build the large multi-use complex in downtown, and over the years has "put albany on the map" for all sorts of events and opportunities from the kitchy to the NCAA to the President of the United States. And when professional management took over, it has been generating profits over the last several years....the re-investment in the facility is the right thing to do.

Those video boards are horrific.

Yeah, the inside looks nice, but the video boards are eye-bleeding. Do they think this is Times Square?

Agree that those video boards are terrible! Awful invasion of advertising in public space, and kind of an assault on the senses. If it were just video you could at least look away but the sound is overwhelming too!

complaints about the video boards from: people who have probably spent 10 minutes on south pearl in the last 25 years.

Wow, it looks great. Dare I say it looks like it belongs in an actual modern city? I hope that carpet stands up to thousands of snowy boots.

Regarding the video boards, horrific or not, and I personally think they are the reification of the prosaic blindness to the transience of our local politics (what are they going to display 99% of the time? basketball hoops?), why the City celebrates these crass outdoor TVs and orders the church on the corner of Willet and State to take down their 'Welcome Refugees' banner is absurd. The video boards should display the heaps of trash that line our streets at any given time.

@a: May the property directly across the street from your home or workplace erect similar video boards.

It looks like an actual arena entrance, with a sleek modern style. I always thought the old open-air design was weird; if you were walking around not looking for an arena, you might not even notice it at street-level. I think it looks fresh and bright, and hope it brings some life that strip on South Pearl. Maybe Albany can even get an AHL team again *cough*Rangers*cough*

Update: the outdoor speakers are even more obnoxious than the video boards, if that's possible. An insult to the taxpayers of Albany County, and to people who live or work in the neighborhood.

Wow! Some people are never happy and just like to complain. It looks awesome!!! The updates to the atrium, the street level improvements and video boards make it look like a major city arena. Very impressed.

Personally, the new atrium itself looks great. I don't spend a lot of time at the TU Center, but I took a peek and I liked what I saw.

The video screens and speakers, however, are dreadful. And, from what I've heard, some of the complaints are also coming from people who lived or work close to the TU Center, as well as drivers.

I've had some out-of-town guests in recent days who weren't impressed, either. To politely paraphrase one (who is from NYC), "What is that garbage?"

If you want piece and quiet, maybe you shouldn't live next to 17,000 capacity arena?

The atrium looks fantastic, its about time it was closed off from the rough northeast winter weather. The exposed atrium, cold and un welcoming box office was absolutely terrible.

The outside video boards are amazing. Talk about brightening up what is perceived by many as a dark lifeless downtown. Pearl, State, and Brodway should be gems of the city of Albany.

As far as tenants go I agree a Rangers AHL team would be awesome! Albany County come on, get it done!

If you want piece and quiet, maybe you shouldn't live next to 17,000 capacity arena?

People who live/work nearby understood that they would, a few times a week, deal with temporary crowds coming and going, along with the traffic that generates. The vast majority of this happens in the evenings and on weekends. The 24/7 displays and audio are completely different.

Go stand outside them for 15 minutes and see how you feel. Then imagine spending 8 hours a day, five days a week, being bombarded while you're trying to work. I'm not sure if there are any residential tenants directly across the street but if there are, I can't imagine what it's like trying to sleep.

The real question is, were the property owners and/or tenants notified or consulted before these went in?

Yes utterly insane that we can’t support an AHL team! Nothing would be better for such an awesome arena(for a mid sized city).....now I have to drive to Binghamton or Springfield MA to see AHL hockey——wtf!!! Not usually a fan of neon lights etc ala Times Square....but this is pretty amazing(for a mid size city).....

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