Signed up: Amica Mutual Pavilion’s new signage hopes to help modernize downtown arena

NEW SIGNAGE has been installed in and around the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence. / PBN PHOTO/JAMES BESSETTE
NEW SIGNAGE has been installed in and around the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence. / PBN PHOTO/JAMES BESSETTE

PROVIDENCE – The new name, image and likeness on Rhode Island’s largest downtown arena is now taking shape both inside the building and, especially, outside.

Workers have been installing new permanent signage on the Amica Mutual Pavilion over the last couple weeks, costing at least a half million dollars to mount throughout the arena. The installations officially mark the formal name change of the 13,000-seat AMP – first known as the Providence Civic Center – from being the Dunkin’ Donuts Center over the last two decades.

Lincoln-based Amica Mutual Insurance Co. back in September 2022 was awarded by the R.I. Convention Center Authority the naming rights to the complex, which includes both the arena and the convention center. Amica is paying $900,000 annually for 10 years to have its name around the complex, with most of the “Amica” name emblazoned in and around the 50-year-old arena.

The state’s top convention official now hopes the building’s transformed look can help it become more appealing for the state to attract new acts and conferences to be held at the AMP. RICCA Executive Director Daniel P. McConaghy told Providence Business News that convention officials and ASM Global looked at various arenas around the country for the latest trends in signage and apply them to the AMP. McConaghy said investing in the new signage was a matter of keeping the half-century-old arena “fresh, relevant and current.”

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“Our building continuously needs to feel modern to attract acts and events. This new signage, as a package, will help [the AMP] … compete with other markets,” RICCA Executive Director Daniel P. McConaghy told Providence Business News. “The building is going to really perk up.”

McConaghy said the authority is paying $553,000 for new digital signage to be installed around the AMP. That signage will include new digital boards overlooking Interstate 95 next to the new fixed white “Amica Mutual Pavilion Providence” sign and atop the tall marquee along Sabin Street. The “archaic” marquee digital sign, McConaghy said, has had major problems and outages for the last several months, with the sign only half functioning. McConaghy said that the authority hasn’t been able to obtain needed parts to fix the sign, hence the need for a whole new one.

McConaghy also said the authority also received approval a couple weeks ago from the city’s downtown design review committee to install three new digital “banners” along the AMP’s exterior adjacent to Sabin Street. Before, there were fabric banners emblazoned with Providence College and Providence Bruins logos. Now, McConaghy said the new digital banners – to be installed next month and be the last of the newly implemented signage – will showcase still images and graphics of upcoming events at the arena.

“It won’t be the same kind of movement that exists on the digital marquee sign,” McConaghy said. “But it will change the façade, as well, and will give us a better opportunity to inform the public on a broader scale of what’s going on.”

Amica, McConaghy said, is paying for the signage above the arena’s west entrance, main entrance, scoreboard and inside the main lobby, but it is unknown how much Amica is paying for that installation. Amica spokesperson Brendan Dowding said in an email the company is paying for the signage with the money given to the authority as part of its $900,000 annual naming rights payment, but did not offer cost specifics.

McConaghy said the old Dunkin’ Donuts Center signage on the west entrance and on the marquee “was not really well lit” at night and “did not have any life to it.” Now, the new signs’ lighting is also expected to help the arena stand out downtown. For example, McConaghy said the new “Amica Mutual Pavilion” west entrance sign has a black “perforated” façade and has the ability to light behind it “to almost any color you want” at nighttime.

“You can light it to where it’s white so you can see it, or we can do it in various colors,” he said. “There are certain weeks or weekends where there are different areas of support, [such as] breast cancer awareness. This gives us the ability to light the building in those support colors and offer support to our community. There’s a lot of cool options to it.”

After the signage installation, the long-awaited new roof will start to be installed. McConaghy said construction crews will mobilize May 22 to begin work to fully replace the 50-year-old roof on June 3. However, McConaghy said the construction start date may be pushed back if the Providence Bruins’ playoff run extends through mid-June.

Dimeo Construction Co. in Providence, which McConaghy said first installed the AMP’s roof in 1973, has been contracted to do the $7.8 million roof work. McConaghy said that work will start near the main entrance and head south toward the I-95 side, with the work expected to be done by the beginning of September.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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1 COMMENT

  1. “ The new name, image and likeness on Rhode Island’s largest downtown arena…”

    The AMP-Providence is the second largest downtown arena in the Providence Metropolitan Area (RI and southeastern MA); not just RI.