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ZachTheZip

Downtown Arena!

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From the email I got:



The University's Board of Trustees provided unanimous support today to an arrangement with Summit County, the City of Akron and the Development Finance Authority for the creation of a new downtown arena. Though details remain to be finalized, the Board of Trustees endorsed a preliminary term sheet that allows the community partners to move forward in the creation of a new arena.


The City of Akron and The University of Akron would be providing parcels of land owned or used by each entity located across the street from Canal Park. The University would have no financial obligations to contribute to the construction of the facility so the new arena would not increase the University's debt.


Under this arrangement, the University would receive a new home for the Zips basketball program. The new arena would also be the location for many other sporting and entertainment events.


The University's action, taken today, was required for the project to move forward.




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It looks like this is just part of the plans for the use of a .25% increase in the Summit county sales tax.

A 9,000-seat sports and entertainment arena is proposed for downtown Akron

The county will seek a sales tax increase of 0.25 percent, said Jason Dodson, the county's chief of staff. The county currently receives 0.50 percent of the current 6.75 percent tax, he said.

The tax increase, which would be permanent, would generate $20 million a year, he said. Of that, $7 million annually would go toward the new arena for 23 years. That would finance design, construction and provide a capital and operating reserve, he said.

The county would use the other $13 million generated annually from the sales tax increase for county jail operations, its 911 and emergency radio system and capital improvements

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Sounds like a really well thought-out plan that's been developed over years. The partnership between UA, Summit County, City of Akron and Development Finance Authority assures that everyone's onboard with a master plan. The 8,500-9,000 capacity sounds just right for a downtown facility in Akron, not too small and not too large. Zips basketball takes first priority on dates, with the facility available at other times for all kinds of events, which will benefit the general public in and around Akron.

Looking at an aerial view, the location is about as good as it gets for a just slightly off-campus arena. Those coming from the main campus in poor weather can take the enclosed skywalk from Wolf Ledges Parkway across the railroad tracks, continue through the College of Business Administration and through the enclosed skywalk to the West Campus Parking Deck. I would expect the parking deck to be connected to the new arena by a new enclosed skywalk.

I wonder how long we'll have to wait to see a proposed floor plan?

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Perfect. No debt for UA, great location. I forsee a few new watering holes opening up downtown, it's really gonna be an awesome area in a couple years. Hope it passes the ballot.

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It takes decades for school levys to pass...I doubt this has any chance of passing either. (I don't mean to sound doom and gloom). Someone talk me off the cliff?

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It takes decades for school levys to pass...I doubt this has any chance of passing either. (I don't mean to sound doom and gloom). Someone talk me off the cliff?

Oh boy. I missed the part where this is Pending on voter approval of a tax increase.

Seeing where the sin tax debacle in Cuyahoga County had gone, in terms of public opinion about it paying for sports complexes, I'm not encouraged.

I have to wonder how the retailers will be feeling about this also. We just had a sales tax increase, and we'll soon have another?

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Skip, Zips basketball may be our primary focus, but that would only account for less than 20 days per year. It's the use for the other 345 days each year that will make or break this project. I'd say that it would be smart not to promote this as a "sports complex," but rather an entertainment complex designed to bring a variety of events of interest to all citizens and not just sports fans. The city and county would benefit from more money spent locally on events that would otherwise be held outside the city and county, so I see them taking the lead on selling this to other downtown businesses and taxpayers as an investment that will benefit everyone.

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Skip, Zips basketball may be our primary focus, but that would only account for less than 20 days per year. It's the use for the other 345 days each year that will make or break this project. I'd say that it would be smart not to promote this as a "sports complex," but rather an entertainment complex designed to bring a variety of events of interest to all citizens and not just sports fans. The city and county would benefit from more money spent locally on events that would otherwise be held outside the city and county, so I see them taking the lead on selling this to other downtown businesses and taxpayers as an investment that will benefit everyone.

No doubt, that will be the approach. It will be interesting to see how people will react to this.

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It takes decades for school levys to pass...I doubt this has any chance of passing either. (I don't mean to sound doom and gloom). Someone talk me off the cliff?

This is just "Plan A". Throw it out there, and hope it passes. If not, we begin to look at alternative ways to fund it. This is the ideal scenario, and you have to make an attempt at it even if it is a long shot.

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Guys the writing is on the wall (and yes I'm being cynical because the idea makes me want to :puke:) But Jim Tressel will be our next President, because he is the person with the moxy to potentially rally support behind such a project (public, private and government).

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This is just "Plan A". Throw it out there, and hope it passes. If not, we begin to look at alternative ways to fund it. This is the ideal scenario, and you have to make an attempt at it even if it is a long shot.

Sure, but 77 million doesn't have too many doable options.

Remember, from day one, this has been a money issue, above and beyond anything else.

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Would love it, but zero chance in this economy to pass. This has to be a trial balloon (the funding) the negative comments on Ohio.com and even in my own work space of guys saying no way. I do like the idea of Jim Tressell getting it done with a combo of corporate and UA financing to get this done.

Now on to the 70 some million and 9000 seats, we have had threads on here with design or examples of other arenas, curious to re-visit those with examples of 9000 and what that would look like.

I tell you, locally for those of you have gone there, tell me if I am wrong, but the Canton Fieldhouse is the loudest basketball arena I have ever been in, not sure if its the ceiling being closer than most, but wow is that a loud place and would love to see that design in a modern setting.

I like the Eastern Michigan arena too, although, what 200 people attend :)

I think the price tag and # of seats are a but steep, but I guess we are trying to think bigger and it would be an arena for sometime and would hate to have undercut the arena size in case the team gets to that next level. I think 7500 is more ideal imo. (more closer to capacity each night)

I hope this goes forward, would be great downtown...my avatar is of memorial hall, another classic arena

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Guys the writing is on the wall (and yes I'm being cynical because the idea makes me want to :puke:) But Jim Tressel will be our next President, because he is the person with the moxy to potentially rally support behind such a project (public, private and government).

Really? You really believe that Jim Tressel will be selected as the next president of UA because he's most likely to get a new basketball arena? You really believe that this is the top priority at UA? Really?

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BG's arena cost $30 million, but it sucks. EMU's arena would cost $43 million today, and that's very close the design that I hope we get. UA's proposal is surprisingly expensive.

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I've always liked UCF's CFE Arena as an example. Seats just over 9,000 and actually cost over $100 million to build.

I too feel that the proposal will probably be knocked down. Doesn't make much sense for the city to throw all that money into an arena, just to see UA benefit without paying a dime.

UA will probably get stuck financing it themselves, get cheap and build a small arena like BG.

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BG's arena cost $30 million, but it sucks. EMU's arena would cost $43 million today, and that's very close the design that I hope we get. UA's proposal is surprisingly expensive.

Does EMU have 20 suites? Dining area? Team shop? HOF exhibits? Player/coach/booster lounges? It might end up being an apples to oranges comparison once we find out the planned/desired features.

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@akzipper ... to quote you "UA will probably get stuck financing it themselves, get cheap and build a small arena like BG."

Is the kiss of death. Such an arena would doom any future plans for at least twenty years just as it has at Bowling Green.

Spend the money up front. The long term payoff will more than cover the initial outlay.

The buzz among many is that the Zips want up and out of the MAC. I am with this group. The idea is to

improve the university and the city. Let's just do it. For once may the naysayers and wolly wogs stay

in their caves.

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Really? You really believe that Jim Tressel will be selected as the next president of UA because he's most likely to get a new basketball arena? You really believe that this is the top priority at UA? Really?

Yes. Yes I do believe that. It's the only rational defense of hiring a non-academic former coach to be the head figure for an academic institution.
Don't get me wrong, I DO NOT want that to be the case, and hope it isn't. I'm also reading the writing on the wall. And I absolutely 100% believe a new basketball Arena is a priority for UA brass, especially when they are hoping that UA isn't going to fund it. UA put a very nebulous reference to a new arena in the 2020 plan as well. I absolutely believe it's a priority.
Especially if what GoZips says is true...that there is buzz amongst many that the Zips want out of the MAC...than a new arena is a priority. If the shoe fits...

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There isn't enough data available yet to understand the fine details of the proposed facility. But the limited data we have so far suggests that it's an 8,500-seat arena with the possibility to add 500 temporary seats. It doesn't say if those 500 temporary seats would be for basketball or for other events. So we're going to have to wait for more information to get into a more detailed discussion. I would think that voters deciding on whether or not they're willing to pay more taxes for this facility would demand a lot more details than what we've seen so far.

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The buzz among many is that the Zips want up and out of the MAC. I am with this group. The idea is to

improve the university and the city. Let's just do it. For once may the naysayers and wolly wogs stay

in their caves.

1) Wanting to move up from the MAC is not a new revelation.

2) We shouldn't have a problem rallying Zips fans around this project. The problem will be selling this to the "naysayers" who are far outside of our circle, and are still laughing about the fact that we built a 50 million dollar football stadium. If they don't get it, "Plan A" will be out the window very soon.

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The problem will be selling this to the "naysayers" who are far outside of our circle, and are still laughing about the fact that we built a 50 million dollar football stadium. If they don't get it, "Plan A" will be out the window very soon.

Easy sell: Make them sit on the JAR bleachers for several hours.

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Balsy, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that a new basketball arena is "a priority for UA brass" along with many other financial and academic priorities. Making the leap in belief that a new basketball arena is so important that it's the key priority in selecting a new university president who will be responsible for advancing all the many priorities is much less rational. It's more reasonable to assume that UA will select the person they believe will do the best overall job of advancing the university's many priorities.

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