Toledo Arena Option

Ohio’s Lucas County Improvement Corp. (LCIC) is discussing an option to buy the 7,500-seat Toledo Sports Arena and surrounding property as part of a planned riverfront entertainment district.

The deal is currently being reviewed by LCIC’s attorney for any leases already on the property that may affect the arrangement.

Arena GM Gary Wyse said the purchase would be a positive step forward for the 58-year-old facility.

“It is being reviewed by all parties both at the county level and here at the arena as well,” Wyse told Pollstar. “The thought process is that rather than another developer buying the arena acreage, the county is at least in the position to discuss the option to help protect the acreage for the overall Marina District.”

The riverfront project’s original concept was pitched in 2000 as a development of 125 acres along the Maumee River. It was to include a new sports and concert arena to replace the Toledo Sports Arena, retail, entertainment venues and a marina.

If approved, the current agreement would give LCIC a 30-day option to buy the property for about $5 million, with the possibility of extending the option to 90 days.

Meanwhile, Wyse said it’s business as usual until the details are ironed out.

“The venerable sports arena would probably continue operation, depending what the terms are,” he said. “We’re going to be here for a season or two, anyway.”

— Tina Amendola