BVM June 2016 - page 36

36 Business View Magazine - June 2016
And Brown has plans for more improvements. “This
summer,” he says, “we’re tearing out the concrete in
front of our main entranceway and putting heated side-
walks in so that, in wintertime, we don’t have to worry
about having to plow the sidewalks – they will auto-
matically be warm. It’s a better safety situation, and
it will also create some outdoor exhibit space. We’re
also renovating our main ticket office. And lastly, all of
the arena dressing rooms will be renovated.”
And still more. “Within the next three years, we want
every light in the complex to be LED; we’re about half-
way there, now. We’ve got a million square feet under
roof, so it’s no small endeavor to convert everything,”
Brown says. “I don’t see us building in the next five
years outside the four walls, but I see us continuing
to do facility improvements, renovations, technology
upgrades, and all those things. And we’re fortunate to
have the funding in place to be able to do that.”
The funding to which Brown alludes is actually several
sources of community financing that, together, gener-
ate $2.6 million per year for the Coliseum’s capital
projects. “We have our own TIF (Tax Increment Financ-
ing) area,” he says, “where the tax dollars from the
state sales tax, the county food and beverage tax, the
state income tax on employees, and the county income
tax on employees is returned to us.” For the citizens of
Allen County, Indiana, the investment is a prudent one
since, according to Brown, the economic impact of the
venue is in excess of $100 million a year to the greater
community, in addition to a total of 500 full and part-
time jobs.
And of course, the Allen County War Memorial Colise-
um gives back to the community in ways other than
jobs and dollars. “We are still a war memorial,” says
Brown, “and everything we do is with veterans in mind.
We support the veterans with events on Memorial Day,
Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Day. Parades are started,
or end here, at the Coliseum. There’s an area of the
building off the arena that’s called Memorial Hall. It
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