Plans unveiled for downtown event center

February 16th, 2017

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

Plans for Fort Wayne's proposed downtown arena -- now labeled an "event center" -- were unveiled this morning.

With a price tag of $104.9 million not including land, the structure would lie along West Jefferson Boulevard across Webster Street from the Grand Wayne Center and be connected to it with a pedestrian bridge.

The center would house a basketball court with seating for about 5,700 and could house concerts with just under 6,000 seats.

The building is described as a multi-use facility, meaning it could house trade shows, sports and tournaments ranging from arena football, indoor soccer and lacrosse and volleyball.

However, there's no ice rink, precluding a move downtown by the Fort Wayne Komets.

"The working assumption has been the Mad Ants will be the primary tenants," said Donald R. Dethlefs, CEO of SinkCombsDethlefs of Denver, who presented the design during a meeting of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board.

No deal has been reached with the D League outlet of Indiana Pacers, said Steve Brody, CIB member on the committee working on the facility. But talks have been underway to determine the team's needs in determining the design, he said.

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