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Old 02-19-2013, 11:55 AM
 
2,482 posts, read 2,018,429 times
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Default A new UD Arena?

There have been rumblings lately from some higher-ups connected to UD that, as part of the school's hopeful (likely?) addition to a new athletics conference comprised of the former Big East Catholic schools, that a new arena is in the beginning stages of discussion. With UD Arena just passing its 42-year anniversary, the constant struggles with the water table under the arena, the dated technology and infrastructure, and the cramped conditions for media, teams, officials, etc. at the facility and the problems that presents for NCAA events, the current arena could be nearing the end of its lifespan.

First, some background for the non-sports people here:

Several months ago, seven Catholic, basketball-only schools announced they were leaving the Big East conference to form their own league with other like-minded schools. The seven schools (Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's, Seton Hall, Providence, Depaul, Marquette) split from their larger league mates (UC, UConn, South Florida, among others) which are more focused on football. The seven - or C7 as they're known - plan to invite up to five schools to join them in a new conference. According to most accounts, Xavier, Butler and Dayton are among those that may be invited. Dayton, which is currently in the Atlantic 10, would jump at an invite. The problem is, their modest basketball results the past 20 years coupled with the relatively small TV market size so close to Cincinnati could play a factor in their exclusion. That's where a new arena comes in.

The thinking among many close to the school is that UD may use the promise of a new, larger arena to seal its invite to the C7. One of UD's biggest strengths is its fan base and healthy attendance and following, which are unmatched in Ohio. So fans would fill a new arena, and fill it in droves. Also, the NCAA Tournament, which currently makes a rare exception and plays at UD Arena despite its small size (but for how much longer?), would continue to be a regular visitor to Dayton.

The most likely location, if you believe the rumblings, for a new arena would be at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds site. Both UD and Miami Valley Hospital are displeased with the deterioration of the area in and around the fairgrounds and would likely be partners in its redevelopment. Also, the city would surely support such an endeavor. With all the UD-related development south of Stewart Street, including the new $61 million GE research facility, UD's already impressive footprint is expanding.

The fairgrounds, of course, are county-owned so there's that. But a new 18,000-seat facility to host UD games, concerts, conventions and other events would surely generate much more revenue than the lightly used fairgrounds currently does. I wouldn't think a deal would be difficult to reach.

Any new arena would surely be at least 7-10 years off (site acquisition and preparation, construction, etc.), but you can be assured that UD has a vision in place for how to move forward and a replacement for UD Arena is part of that. The fairgrounds site has long been a no-brainer for this facility and UD knows it. The school recently announced it was moving football back to campus and away from Welcome Stadium. If the C7 invite comes, this could all be closer than anyone realizes. Stay tuned ...

Last edited by abr7rmj; 02-19-2013 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:02 PM
 
1,615 posts, read 762,479 times
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Wow....

But UD Arena is iconic. It is truly a great representation of 1960's modern architecture with a slight art deco twist. I would hate for it to not be used - even though the fairgrounds need to go!
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:46 AM
Status: "Vote NO on Issue 11 - 8.21 more mills we can't afford!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Dayton, OH
1,561 posts, read 1,067,561 times
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Hi OHKID--

I would be curious to know how they plan to handle the increased traffic if they were to rebuild an arena on the site of the Montgomery County fairgrounds - do the grounds even have enough land area to include both an arena and sufficient parking?

Maybe - just maybe - if you had a multi level garage next to the arena, but it would be unsightly to have it right next door.

And then I would like to hear what plan UD has to deal with all the traffic that would come from I-75 in time for a ball game. Currently, E.C. Moses gets backed up, the ramp gets backed up, and the right lane of I-75 gets backed up for as much as a mile when there's something going on. Because if you built a larger arena (which I agree is necessary in order to retain the First Four in the future plus other events), you would need a plan to deal with all that traffic. And I'm not convinced the current setup along Edwin Moses and Stewart St. could handle it, even with the new bridge (which didn't seem to add any road capacity).
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Covington, KY
1,188 posts, read 837,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OHKID View Post
- even though the fairgrounds need to go!
Why?
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:51 AM
Status: "Vote NO on Issue 11 - 8.21 more mills we can't afford!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Dayton, OH
1,561 posts, read 1,067,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpathianPeasant View Post
Why?
Hi CarpathianPeasant--

I'm in agreement with OHKID here that the Fairgrounds need to go. I drive by it every morning on the way to UD and back and 9 times out of 10, there's absolutely nothing going on there. The buildings are in terrible disrepair, there's a general lack of maintenance around the premises, and it does little to contribute to an urban environment (again, mainly because it's empty 90+% of the time).

A mixed-use arena within walking distance of Brown St., the student ghetto, and the new townhomes off Rubicon would get a lot more use, though.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:15 AM
 
2,482 posts, read 2,018,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hensleya1 View Post
Hi OHKID--

I would be curious to know how they plan to handle the increased traffic if they were to rebuild an arena on the site of the Montgomery County fairgrounds - do the grounds even have enough land area to include both an arena and sufficient parking?

Maybe - just maybe - if you had a multi level garage next to the arena, but it would be unsightly to have it right next door.

And then I would like to hear what plan UD has to deal with all the traffic that would come from I-75 in time for a ball game. Currently, E.C. Moses gets backed up, the ramp gets backed up, and the right lane of I-75 gets backed up for as much as a mile when there's something going on. Because if you built a larger arena (which I agree is necessary in order to retain the First Four in the future plus other events), you would need a plan to deal with all that traffic. And I'm not convinced the current setup along Edwin Moses and Stewart St. could handle it, even with the new bridge (which didn't seem to add any road capacity).
The parking situation would be something that would have to be worked out. Garages are notoriously ineffective for large events such as college basketball, NCAA, concerts, etc., because when you have everyone leaving at the exact same time it creates major gridlock. The garages work under The Banks for Reds/Bengals games because enough people park at other locations to dilute the traffic. But try getting into The Banks garages before a weekday afternoon game - complete gridlock.

I wonder if, at a new fairgrounds arena, enough people would park around Brown Street (or hang out at those establishments long enough before/after an event to ease congestion), on the main campus, across Stewart Street and elsewhere that maybe there would be enough surface land at the site to realistically accommodate cars.

I agree with you on the E.C. Moses game congestion - a problem that will only get worse when the new truck stop is built at that interchange. Throw a bunch of semis into the situation and you have quite a potential traffic fiasco. But the 35 ramps, not to mention NB and SB 48, would take a good chunk of fairgrounds arena traffic that now only uses 75. And more students - if not all students - would walk to games instead of driving.

As a UD basketball season ticket holder who uses 75 (most of the time) to get to games from Cincinnati, I don't touch the EC Moses exit. I get off at the exit before (Dryden), turn left, cross the river and cut through the old neighborhood to Stewart Street. Then I turn right onto ECMoses and am funneled right into Lot D. Much less aggravating.

Last edited by abr7rmj; 02-20-2013 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Covington, KY
1,188 posts, read 837,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hensleya1 View Post
Hi CarpathianPeasant--

I'm in agreement with OHKID here that the Fairgrounds need to go. I drive by it every morning on the way to UD and back and 9 times out of 10, there's absolutely nothing going on there. The buildings are in terrible disrepair, there's a general lack of maintenance around the premises, and it does little to contribute to an urban environment (again, mainly because it's empty 90+% of the time).

A mixed-use arena within walking distance of Brown St., the student ghetto, and the new townhomes off Rubicon would get a lot more use, though.
Exactly what constitutes "an urban environment"?

It isn't essentially part universities. Many a little crossroads town has a college.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:16 PM
 
1,615 posts, read 762,479 times
Reputation: 814
Quote:
Originally Posted by hensleya1 View Post
Hi OHKID--

I would be curious to know how they plan to handle the increased traffic if they were to rebuild an arena on the site of the Montgomery County fairgrounds - do the grounds even have enough land area to include both an arena and sufficient parking?

Maybe - just maybe - if you had a multi level garage next to the arena, but it would be unsightly to have it right next door.

And then I would like to hear what plan UD has to deal with all the traffic that would come from I-75 in time for a ball game. Currently, E.C. Moses gets backed up, the ramp gets backed up, and the right lane of I-75 gets backed up for as much as a mile when there's something going on. Because if you built a larger arena (which I agree is necessary in order to retain the First Four in the future plus other events), you would need a plan to deal with all that traffic. And I'm not convinced the current setup along Edwin Moses and Stewart St. could handle it, even with the new bridge (which didn't seem to add any road capacity).
I would be curious to hear how they would handle it too... There's no way Edwin C. Moses and Stewart could handle all of that traffic in addition to the traffic that goes through the area already. The only pie-in-the-sky solution I could think of would be to build a new bridge from Edwin C just north of the new Courtyard by Marriott over to Patterson, tying in just north of the Carillon. Between the two routes, that might be able to handle the traffic.

I just don't understand why UD would want the fairgrounds. There is a lot of pent-up demand for urban infill housing in the area, and I could see the site with maybe a nice highrise condo development along Patterson, conversion and restoration of the fairground buildings to office / creative space, a community center in the rotunda, and some student apartments above street-level shops at Stewart and Main. Infill the rest of it with Simms-style townhouses.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:17 PM
 
1,615 posts, read 762,479 times
Reputation: 814
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpathianPeasant View Post
Exactly what constitutes "an urban environment"?

It isn't essentially part universities. Many a little crossroads town has a college.
I know farm animals don't constitute an urban environment haha.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Covington, KY
1,188 posts, read 837,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OHKID View Post
I know farm animals don't constitute an urban environment haha.
Sorry, but you can have farm animals in cities. I've seen ducks in back yards. My rabbits were housebroken and stayed inside. To the best of my knowledge you can keep a horse.

Last edited by CarpathianPeasant; 02-20-2013 at 10:28 PM..
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