A detailed study of the cost of operating a downtown area is likely to be done by late August or early September, members of the Allen County Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board learned on Thursday.Board member Steve Brody, who has directed the CIB’s study of the cost and impact of a downtown arena, said that Victus Advisors of Park City, Utah, was hired to conduct the expense-and-revenue projection.
The board authorized spending up to $70,000 on that study; invictus will do the work for $49,000, plus reimbursement for some expenses.
The point of this arena study is simple: “Will it operate at surplus or deficit?” Brody said. And if it’s likely to run at a deficit, “what might the deficit look like?”In addition to projecting years of revenue and expenses, Victus consultants are supposed to offer their guidance of the best way to administer and oversee such an event facility in Fort Wayne, he said.
People from Victus were in Fort Wayne Thursday and Friday, Brody said, speaking with representatives of Memorial Coliseum, Embassy Theatre, Turnstone, AWS, the Mad Ants, the Tin Caps and Arts United, among other organizations that might be affected by a downtown event center.
Brody said the results of the Victus study should provide the last information needed to decide whether an arena should be built. Exactly who would decide that question isn’t completely clear. He said that Fort Wayne and Allen County governments would be involved, and Greater Fort Wayne Inc., likely would play a part in the decision, too, he suggested.
The latest plans for such an arena just west of Grand Wayne Center envision a facility that would seat nearly 6,000 people for concerts and more than 5,600 for basketball. Its estimated cost is $104.9 million, which does not include land-acquisition costs.