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Mayor Suggests Potential New Fort Wayne Arena Not Dead

Discussions about a potential new Fort Wayne arena could regain some traction, as mayor Tom Henry indicates that there is still interest in the idea.

Discussions were underway a few years ago about building a new arena in downtown Fort Wayne, with the project intended to provide a venue that could accommodate events too large for the Grand Wayne Center and too small for the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Those discussions stalled in the fall of 2017, however, amidst concerns that the addition of a new $105-million arena to the city’s slate of venues was not an economically viable proposition.

While there has not been much discussion since then about building a new arena, at least publicly, recent comments from Henry seem to suggest that the idea might not be dead. Henry acknowledges that there are certain hurdles that would have to be overcome, but the notion of exploring a new arena certainly does not seem to have been written off completely. More from

He believes the Indiana Pacers would love to see a downtown home for the Mad Ants games, and that other major players back the idea of a 5,000 to 6,000 seat venue.

The arena concept might be more appealing, not less, if the giant Electric Works project can’t get off the ground.

Henry says he wants the project to work, but acknowledges if the developers fail to lock down an anchor tenant, a major hurdle to be cleared, it might be time to strongly consider a scaled back “Plan B”.

“I think those are very valid questions, and they’re very much in play right now,” Henry said.

Currently, Fort Wayne is home to both hockey’s Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL) and the NBA Gatorade League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Both teams play at the War Memorial Coliseum, though officials had floated the idea of the Mad Ants being a possible tenant for a proposed downtown arena the last time it was under serious discussion.

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