14 September 2022

Clune Construction and Gensler Transform Former IMAX Theater into Tennis Channel’s State-of-the-Art Broadcast and Production Facility

A former local entertainment space takes on a new life as a source for nationwide broadcasting

Los Angeles, CA – September 14, 2022 – Clune Construction (Clune) is pleased to announce the completion of Tennis Channel, Bally Sports West and Bally Sports SoCal, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group in Santa Monica. Led by Gensler, the space’s design highlights Sinclair’s high broadcasting standards, and encourages great minds to develop great productions.

Tennis Channel is the only multiplatform 24/7 destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, and Bally Sports Regional Networks are the nation’s leading provider of sports.

The Tennis Channel, which launched in Culver City in 2001, had outgrown their studio and wanted to bring their production and corporate offices together in the same location. In 2018, they made the bold decision to build a new headquarters in Santa Monica that would incorporate Bally Sports West and Bally Sports SoCal facilities and catering to its champion staff and the outstanding productions. They chose a 63,000-square-foot structure that was previously an IMAX theater, as the site to carry out their vision.

“The client reminded us that this project was 18-years in the making. There is tremendous pride in The Tennis Channel’s ability to overcome any challenge that they faced from the start in 2001,” said Kirk Stewart, Senior Associate at Gensler. “It manifested in the design of a world class broadcast facility that positions them well into the future.”

While traditional broadcast facilities focus on dimly lit technical spaces, the Tennis Channel wanted to create a space filled with light. Production and edit rooms are combined with social spaces for impromptu meetings, while the café opens onto an external garden that acts as an escape from working long hours in dark studios. Everything, down to the green wall, skylight, and exposed conduit was designed to be aesthetically pleasing so the space was as much for the employees as it was for broadcasting. This space showcases their work, the sport, and encourages creative minds to develop great productions.

“It was a privilege to be part of such a huge transformation with this amazing team. We worked together to overcome many permitting challenges while still running an efficient and safe project,” said Clune Project Executive, Darrin Craig. “Seeing the final space and how it will function for the Tennis Channel staff was very rewarding.”

The scope of work included renovating the existing theater and turning it into a fully functional office and production space. This included open workspace, private offices, collaboration areas, upgraded conference rooms and an employee pantry and dining area. The project also involved the construction of three new film and broadcast studios, green rooms and edit suites. The facility’s control room, the nerve center features dozens of monitors, editing stations, and AV systems

The facility’s central equipment room, or server room, is one of the most innovative features of this project. Situated between two studio spaces, it includes 29 server racks. This amount of AV/server equipment could easily overheat and create noise in the studio spaces. To remedy this, the team installed a cold aisle, or plastic, in between the rows of racks to create a path of air circulation that would suck in cold air and pull it down to the racks, while pushing hot air out. The cold racks run 24/7 to protect the facility at all times.

“Renovating and modernizing a media facility is never an easy task, but working with our partners at Gensler and Clune helped to make this a pleasurable process,” said Tom Waters, Sinclair’s VP of Facilities and Property Management. “We are thrilled with the final result, a state-of-the-art broadcast and production facility.”

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