Downtown arena plans unveiled

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(Photo Supplied/City of Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board has released details on the plans for a new downtown event center.

Formerly known as an “arena,” the nearly-$105-million building would be built along West Jefferson Blvd across from the Grand Wayne Center, with a seating capacity of around 6,000.

It’s expected to be a new home for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants basketball team, as well as another concert venue for the Summit City, and the Journal Gazette reports it could also host other events, including arena football or indoor soccer.

The City and Allen County have issued a joint statement about the unveiling, saying they’ll work together to review the designs and cost estimates and determine how to move forward.

Read the joint statement below:

Earlier today, the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB) released schematic designs and cost estimates for a possible downtown event center. The City of Fort Wayne and Allen County Commissioners requested that the CIB lead the request for proposals process and hire an architectural and engineering firm to develop schematic designs as well as a thorough evaluation of programming options and cost of construction.

Fort Wayne and Allen County leaders are appreciative of the time, effort and commitment it took to complete this work. The CIB led a professional and diligent process to engage the expertise of national firm Sink Combs Dethlefs and local firms Elevatus Architecture, Design Collaborative and Hoch Associates.

Mayor Tom Henry and Allen County Commissioners Linda Bloom, Therese Brown and Nelson Peters will work together to review the designs and cost estimates and develop the next steps in the process to determine if a downtown event center investment is in the best interest of the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County.

“We’re encouraged by the positive momentum and excitement being experienced in Fort Wayne and Allen County. We’re fortunate to live and work in a thriving community that is well positioned as a point of destination in the Midwest,” said Mayor Henry.

“We are appreciative of the opportunity to partner with the City of Fort Wayne in reviewing any initiative that may enhance economic opportunity and the quality of life for the citizens of Allen County,” said Commissioner Peters.

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