Can Fort Wayne support a downtown arena? A new study says yes. Mayor Tom Henry says the cost to build a 5,000-seat arena could be as much as $63 million. He says the study shows there is potential for the city to build a sports and entertainment arena downtown. Henry says the venue could build on tremendous momentum that includes housing investment and attractions like Parkview Field. Mayor Tom Henry says the city is taking another look at the possibility of a sports arena downtown. The city invested $39,000 in the study which was conducted by Hunden Strategic Partners.

The study found there is potential for the city to put a sports and entertainment arena in the downtown area, seating around 5,000 people. Mayor Henry says the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum seats 10,000 people and the closest theater seats about 2,500. The cost would be between $48 million and $63 million.

Henry says the study recommends attaching the facility to the Grand Wayne Center. He says some of the teams in the area, including local college teams could look at the facility for their home instead of building a new facility on campus.

The city has turned over the consultant's report to a study committee.

Chuck Surack, who is the president of Sweetwater, is leading the committee to evaluate the financial viability of a possible arena. He says the mayor has given the group as much time as needed to make a recommendation. Surack says the correct call may be to not build the venue. He tells Inside INdiana Business, the group will first meet next month and he hopes to have an “informed recommendation” by the end of the year. He says it could take anywhere from three months to a year.

Surrack says the city needs to keep the momentum going downtown.

The committee members include:

– Shane Araujo, 3BG Supply Co.

– Tim Ash, Ash Brokerage

– Bruce Boxberger, Carson Boxberger

– Ian Boyce, Dickmeyer Boyce Financial Management

– Kathy Callen, Old National Bank

– Scott Glaze, Fort Wayne Metals

– Tiffany Gooden, Hall & Gooden LLP

– Mike Nutter, Fort Wayne TinCaps

– Mike Packnett, Parkview Health

– Jonathan Ray, Fort Wayne Urban League

– Chuck Surack, Sweetwater

– Dennis Sutton, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Board of Trustees

– Andrew Thomas, Ridge NAPA Auto Parts

– Gary Wasson, Embassy Theatre Board of Directors

– Doug Wood, PNC

– Bill Zielke, Board of Park Commissioners

You can view the study by clicking here.

Source: City of Fort Wayne

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