GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Gold President Steve Jbara is keeping his cards close to his vest but told News 8 that an announcement on his team’s new home is expected at some point this week.
“I’m very confident that we will announce this week,” Jbara said. “We’re close. We’re figuring out contracts and getting everything set up. But I anticipate by the end of the week we will have announced our new venue.”
The NBA G League team’s future was thrown up in the air last week when the owners of the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center in Walker announced plans to close this summer. The Gold have played at the DeltaPlex since being founded as the Grand Rapids Drive in 2014. The team changed its name in 2021 after striking a new partnership with the Denver Nuggets.
After the DeltaPlex announcement, Van Andel Arena was rumored as the favorite to land the free-agent franchise. While he wouldn’t confirm that to be true, Jbara called it a “good guess.”
“I think that’s a very good guess. I think it brings a lot of opportunity for us. It’s something that we’re looking at very hard,” Jbara said.
Following the DeltaPlex announcement, Jbara said he was looking for a venue that could seat at least 6,000 people, could handle a 24-game home schedule and could sell beer. Not many other locations outside of Van Andel Arena fit those criteria.
“Obviously, we were very happy for the years we had, seven seasons at the DeltaPlex. It was our initial home, it’s where we made a couple of playoff runs and it holds a lot of memories,” Jbara said.
Jbara also acknowledged the ability to play in downtown Grand Rapids as an added benefit to playing at Van Andel Arena.
“I think, as we look to a new venue, some of the opportunities to be in a spot where foot traffic is a little heavier very much excites us,” Jbara told News 8. “We’re excited about where we are headed. I think it will be really cool for Grand Rapids and for the franchise.”
If the Gold move to Van Andel Arena, the team would be the first professional basketball franchise to call it home since the Grand Rapids Hoops left in 2002.