Pennsylvania Arena Under Scrutiny

A Johnstown, Pa., arena is under investigation and its general manager suspended with pay after two promoters accused venue staff of shorting them on box office revenue from their May events.

State police and city detectives reportedly served a search warrant June 25 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena and removed boxes of records pertaining to the Fists of Thunder II boxing event May 2 and the mixed martial arts Iron Will Fighting Championship May 16, according to the city’s Tribune-Democrat.

The War Memorial Authority Board, which owns the facility, voted June 29 to suspend venue GM Jim Vautar with pay, and put assistant manager Tom Grenell in charge, pending the outcome of the investigation, the paper said.

Art McQuillan, Vautar’s attorney, told the Tribune-Democrat that his client has not had any problems in his 25 years with the venue and he’s cooperating with the ongoing probe.

Meanwhile, authority officials are said to be looking into private management for the facility, possibly with SMG, according to the paper.

An SMG representative was not available for comment at press time.