Saturday, September 8, 2007

Square Mentions

Expo Hall may get $4.5M upgrade in '09
Remodeling would not be funded through property taxes, official says

"General Manager Randy Brown told the Allen County Commissioners on Friday the 170,000-square-foot hall is tentatively scheduled for upgrades to its appearance, lighting, sound and mechanical systems in 2009 – the 20th anniversary of its dedication. The Expo Hall is attached to the arena, which opened in 1952 and was expanded in 2002 at a cost of about $30 million."

"The board next week is expected to approve a one-year extension of the lease between Memorial Stadium and Hardball Capital, the Atlanta-based owner of the Wizards baseball team. The lease would continue under existing terms, Brown said, and would provide the minor-league team a place to play until the new Harrison Square facility is ready, presumably in time for the 2009 season."

"It will cost about $2.2 million to demolish the stadium, erect a utility building and to pave the site for additional parking, Brown said – a cost also expected to be covered by food, beverage and sports taxes"

Tourism up in Fort Wayne, Allen County
Report: $415 million to local economy in 2006.

"O’Connell attributed the increase to the city being recognized as a great venue for sports tournaments to group business through conventions and sports and to expanded shopping opportunities.

The trend should continue, he said, because Harrison Square, the $125 million-to-$160 million downtown revitalization project, and the proposed development of 29 acres north of the St. Marys River will allow the bureau to expand where it markets the city."

Travel's value to city put at $415 million

"The travel and tourism industry contributed more than $415 million in direct spending to the city last year, according to an economic impact study conducted for the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention & Visitors Bureau."

"Dan O’Connell, bureau president and CEO, said the study shows how important conventions and tourism are to the local economy. He said that economy will only improve with new projects to entice visitors, such as the $120 million Harrison Square development."