Arena project decision coming soon, Mayor Tom Henry says

(Photo Supplied/ City of Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Mayor Tom Henry said the panel evaluating the financial and viability of a downtown arena is close to making it’s recommendation.

“There’s been a lot of buzz about the potential of a downtown arena,” Henry said in the State of the City address Wednesday afternoon. “There is a 15-person committee working on this for nine months now.”

If an arena is built, it would be located across from Parkview Field, with a walkway connecting it to the Grand Wayne Center. It would be used for sports, concerts and mid-size events too large for the Grand Wayne Center and too small for the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

It’s projected to cost between $48 to $68 million and the plans includes about 5,500 seats, as well as space for parking and restaurants.

“I personally believe an arena would be a great win for Fort Wayne and the region,” Henry said. “But I’m also a realist, and if they committee comes back and says the financials and logistics don’t work, I’m willing to hold off for a better time.”

The panel was put together by Chuck Surack, chief executive officer of Sweetwater Sound, he told WOWO that Fort Wayne is the largest city in the region that doesn’t have an arena like the one the panel is considering.

The mayor also mentioned in his speech,

  • A tunnel project in which a 5 mile long tunnel would be installed in the city over five years to reduce sewer overflows
  • The Ash Skyline Plaza will be finished this May and the Skyline Tower will begin construction later this year.
  • Fort Wayne added 1,600 jobs last year and the city plans to spend $23 million on neighborhoods this year.


State of the City


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