City Explores Potential Downtown Arena

May 20, 2015

The Downtown Fort Wayne Arena Study by Hunden Strategic Partners includes maps of local and regional arena competition.
Credit Hunden Strategic Partners

The results are in from a study commissioned by the City of Fort Wayne  examining the viability of building an arena downtown.  The findings were released Wednesday. 

The City of Fort Wayne invested nearly $40,000 in the study of a  potential sports and entertainment arena downtown. 

The report finds there is potential for such a development – with a possible budget  around $40 million to $60 million. The challenge is to create a space that  compliments, rather than competes with the War Memorial Coliseum or Embassy Theatre venues. 

The City’s next task is to figure out whether such a plan is viable. Sweetwater  president Chuck Surack has selected a study committee to do just that. While the committee contains mostly prominent members of the city’s business  community, Surack says he wants the process – and any resulting project – to  reflect the desires of all residents.  

“And that’s why we’re being very careful how we put this process together, so we  have a chance to really flesh it out. And hopefully it’ll represent the community  and what the community wants, and not just what this committee wants.” 

Surack says he doesn’t yet know how that process will work, or how long the  committee will take to make its recommendation to Mayor Henry.