The Maine Red Claws might play basketball on Thompson’s Point eventually, but with no definite plans for an arena on that 32-acre site along the Fore River, the team is investing in new seating at the Portland Expo.

On Tuesday the NBA Development League franchise announced it will pay for a $350,000 upgrade to the Expo with new bleachers that include chair backs and, near center court, individual stadium chairs with arms. The new seats will be along each sideline, not behind each basket, where existing bleachers will remain in place.

“We couldn’t sit and wait and hope that it was going to get done for years and years and years,” said Bill Ryan Jr., team chairman, of the Thompson’s Point proposal. “So we’re kind of reinventing the Expo a little bit and improving the fan experience.”

New seating will not mean higher ticket prices, said Ryan, who pledged to maintain current prices for next season.

The team recently extended its lease agreement with the city of Portland from 2019 to 2029 (five years plus an option for five more). But the seating upgrade will be paid entirely by the Red Claws.

Hussey Seating of North Berwick is scheduled to do the renovation this summer in time for the start of next season. Capacity will shrink slightly, to 2,466, but Ryan said the trade-off for more comfort was worthwhile.

Ryan is an investor in Thompson’s Point but not actively engaged in management of the project. Should the team decide to play its home games anywhere else, Ryan said, “the city of Portland will have some great new bleachers that they can use for years to come.”

With four home games remaining in the regular season, the Red Claws – who lead the Eastern Conference with a 26-12 record through Monday’s games – are averaging 2,223 fans per game at the Expo. They averaged 3,047 in their first season (2009-10) and 2,517 last season.

“The newness factor does wear off a bit,” Ryan said. “It was so good, so quickly, there was no place to go for us but down. But I’m pleased with this year.”

With more comfortable seating, “I think we’ll see attendance creep back up next year,” he said.

Team President Dajaun Eubanks cautioned against reading anything into the franchise’s future plans.

“If it signals anything, it’s that we’re taking care of business here and now,” he said. “We want to make the fan experience better.”