Downtown arena recommendations



The following are the recommendations from the Downtown Arena Study Committee released yesterday.

Downtown Arena Committee Recommendations

  1. The Committee unanimously recommends the development of a multi-purpose downtown arena/entertainment and event center (the “Center”). The Committee believes the Center would be a substantial benefit to the community and the region.
  2. The Center would provide a venue for a variety of entertainment options as well as signature professional and collegiate events which may be too small for the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum and too large for the Embassy Theatre. The Committee is not recommending the addition of ice to the Center.
  3. The Center would complement the Embassy, the Grand Wayne Center (“GWC”) and other downtown venues, serve as a catalyst for continued downtown redevelopment and enhancement and help create year-round demand for downtown restaurants and ente1tainment.
  4. Downtown matters. It is the heart of the region and reflects who we are and more imp01tantly who we want to be and attract. Business owners, investors and the best and brightest millennials all put much stock in our downtown and all that it offers.
  5. Downtown is on a roll. Progress over the last 10 years is unprecedented. Not since the development of modern Fort Wayne over 100 years ago have we seen demand for housing, entertainment and new businesses who want to be downtown.
  6. The Committee recommends that the development of the Center should not come at the expense of the Coliseum. To that end, the financial and operating structure of the Center should protect the Coliseum from any potential adverse financial impact, which we believe would, at most, be marginal.
  7. Collaborative management, promotion and oversight of the GWC, the Center and the Coliseum would be optimal. Many different approaches could accomplish this objective. The Committee encourages the GWC and the Coliseum to work together to accomplish this objective, maximize efficiency and optimize facility performance.
  8. The Committee recommends that the City engage with the Allen County Commissioners and work together to bring about a successful development.
  9. The Committee recommends (with the exception of property taxes, which should not be used) consideration of all funding options, including an additional 1¢ food and beverage user fee, use of Legacy funds and funding from the Capital Improvement Board.
  10. The City should explore the possibility of complimentary mixed-use developments, including an additional hotel, restaurants and retail shops in the immediate area of the Center.
  11. The Committee recommends engaging an architectural and engineering firm to develop a schematic design of the Center. This will allow for a more thorough evaluation of programming options and cost of construction. This work should be commissioned and completed as soon as possible.


Read also:



  • Final Downtown Arena Study – full version
  • Final Downtown Arena Study – executive summary
  • Downtown Arena study committee recommendations


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