Sporty Competition In Toledo

The University of Toledo plans to spend $30 million to renovate its basketball arena. The upgrade could potentially turn Savage Hall into a competitor of a proposed $80 million downtown arena.

The renovations would include necessary infrastructure improvements and the addition of loge suites and other amenities, according to local paper The Blade.

The proposal indicates the university is serious about keeping school sports on campus. City leaders hoped the school would bring some events to the downtown arena to boost its revenue stream, the Blade said.

When asked if the university had discussed plans with city officials and developers involved with the proposed downtown arena, UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs said he’s “having a lot of unreasonable conversations, not a lot of reasonable ones,” the paper reported.

Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerkin dismissed plans to assist the renovation, and said an upgraded Savage Hall could hurt the downtown arena’s potential.

“If they put in advertising and loge seats, they would absolutely compete,” he told the Blade. “What we don’t need to do is get into a contest with the University of Toledo.” He also told the paper he doesn’t agree that the university should keep basketball on campus because it’s a “student-centered” institution.

“I think student life exists all over the city,” Gerkin said. “They’ve already got two campuses.”