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Consultants to Review Fort Wayne Arena Plan

Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne

In another step toward a new downtown arena in Fort Wayne, officials have hired two consultants to review the proposal. 

Fort Wayne has been mulling the development of a new arena. The venue would be for mid-sized events, attracting shows that do not fit at venues such as the Memorial Coliseum (shown above), the Embassy Theatre, and the Grand Wayne Center. Previous estimates have placed the seating capacity in the 5,000-to-6,000-seat range.

Acting on the recommendations of Fort Wayne and Allen County, the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB) has approved two arena-related contracts. One covering the financial component of the proposal has been awarded to Umbaugh Associates, while a separate deal relating to legal aspects of the project has been struck with Barnes & Thornburg. More from The Journal Gazette:

Steve Brody, who chaired the request for proposals committee, said after the meeting the studies should provide deeper information to answer big questions surrounding the proposed project such as how to pay for building the arena and, if it comes to pass, who operates it and how it will generate revenue and cover any shortfalls.

“There will be a gap (in financing),” he said. “I can’t tell you what the gap will be, but that will take some collective thought about how that gap will be filled.”

The CIB was seeking expert advice because it has not previously issued bonds to raise money for a project, said Nancy Jordan, board president.

She said the studies also will look at recurring operating and maintenance expenses and how to compensate for any lost revenue suffered by Memorial Coliseum.

Budgets were set for both contracts, with a deal worth up to $10,000 approved for financial consulting and the legal consulting capped at $9,000. The site under consideration for the arena is across the street from Parkview Field, home of Minor League Baseball’s Fort Wayne TinCaps.

RELATED STORIES: Fort Wayne Approves Contract for Arena PlansFort Wayne Moves Forward With Downtown ArenaNew downtown Fort Wayne Arena pitched

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