HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Von Braun Center (VBC) has announced its North Hall now has a new name, The Saturn Ballroom.

On Thursday the VBC announced the new name of its ballroom facility. VBC Executive Director Steve Maples said the change is partially for the sake of clarity but also to honor the Saturn project which is an important part of North Alabama, and the nation’s history.

“There has always been some confusion when speaking with national and international event planners who need ballroom space,” Maples said. “We continuously have to explain that North Hall is in fact a ballroom, so when we began brainstorming potential new names, we knew we wanted to include the term ‘ballroom’ in the title.  Additionally, NASA’s Saturn project is hugely important to North Alabama and our entire region so landing on the name ‘Saturn’ felt right and ties into the VBC’s family of venues perfectly.”

The newly renamed Saturn Ballroom originally opened in 1987 and was named North Hall at the time due to its position on the north side of the VBC Campus. The original project added 100,000 square feet to the VBC and cost $8 million.

Maples said since then the ballroom has become one of the most rented spaces at the VBC, with a unique layout that gives it the flexibility to host a myriad of different events.

“The addition of the hall almost 36 years ago was intended to enhance the flexibility of the overall facility by adding space for banquets, meetings and receptions,” he said.  “It continues to make Huntsville a viable option for large conferences and tradeshows needing multiple event spaces simultaneously, while also being a space for banquets, galas, weddings, local town meetings and more.”

On top of the new name the VBC also highlighted renovations currently taking place at the Saturn Ballroom. The center said the city approved the renovations in 2021 and work began in May 2022. According to the VBC, the renovations will be completed by the end of the year with a total project cost of $12.5 million.

The center said the renovations include everything from new floors to upgraded lighting and audio systems. VBC Board of Control Chairman Evans Quinlivan said both the name and upgrades are to make sure the VBC can continue to serve the community the best it can.

“The intent of this renovation and renaming project is to ensure the community the VBC proudly serves continues to have an elegant and modern space to host local events, while also having a space to proudly welcome both national and international guests who bring large-scale events to North Alabama,” he said.

The Von Braun Center is home to eight venues including Propst Arena, Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, Playhouse, Mars Music Hall, Rhythm on Monroe, South Hall, East Hall, and the newly renamed Saturn Ballroom.