Niagara Falls, NY is considering the possible construction of a new arena, and has authorized a study of the proposal.
The city recently opted to allocate $50,000 toward the study of what could be an arena/event center. While it has not committed to constructing the venue, Niagara Falls wants to explore the viability of the arena and whether it can assist in attracting more events to the area.
Though the city has a Conference & Event Center in place, officials believe that a new arena would attract shows and performances that are too large for its existing venue. More from WFBO:
“We’ve a conference center which is beautiful and it’s good for conferences, but we have nothing to put in good, big events,” said Niagara Falls Councilman Kenny Tompkins. “You know, bringing in a big name concert. We used to have rodeos and tractor pulls and basketball games and wrestling. We don’t have an area big enough for that at this stage.”
The former Convention Center hosted numerous large events. Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan performed there in the 1970s. Niagara University men’s college basketball staged a major upset of then-number one St. John’s in the mid 1980s. Circuses and other events visited the venue. But critics said the building was too big for a city of that size and current mayor Paul Dyster adds that it was very expensive to maintain.
It’s why he supports the idea of a study. He says while tourist numbers and hotel stock are rising, and the city moves forward with numerous plans to build new attractions, it’s important to find out whether the city could afford to build a new larger venue.
Previous financial pledges of $50,000 were made by Niagara County and the office of state senator Robert Ortt.