CIB to Spend up to $70k on new Events Center Study - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

CIB to Spend up to $70k on new Events Center Study

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

Digging deeper into the "financials" to see if a downtown arena in Fort Wayne is feasible.

The Capital Improvement Board Thursday approved spending money on another study.

This time the focus is on the long-term view.

In this drawn out process so far, work has been done to determine a preferred location for the building downtown just west of the Grand Wayne Center, as well as nailing down a price tag for construction and how to pay for it.

But once the thing gets built, how do we know we can afford upkeep and the day to day expenses of running the place?

Based on action taken by the CIB, we may soon get answers to some of those critical questions.

The Capital Improvement Board Thursday morning approved spending up to $70,000 to hire a firm to do an analysis on market demand for the events center, and whether it's likely the facility would earn profits or operate at a deficit.

City and county government leaders said they want to know that information before any decisions can be made about going forward.

"It's something that we've talked about for some time, but it was logical to first get our arms around what will the design of the facility be and what will the cost of it be, now that we have design we can talk to these folks and really talk about operations," said Steve Brody, a CIB Board Member.

Three firms are competing for the study---one from Utah, one from Texas and one from Chicago.

The winning bidder will be chosen in a month or so, then the study itself will take up to 14 weeks to complete.

There is also interest in looking at what income might be generated from selling naming rights on the building.

Already, we're looking at close to $120-million to construct the Events Center.

If we find out that income from the facility doesn't offset expenses, and public money is needed to subsidize operations, it could be a deal breaker for officials trying to sell this thing to local taxpayers.

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