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Cincinnati: Downtown: Heritage Bank Center

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Corky, it is an interesting idea but I don't see the ownership of US Bank Arena blowing their Arena and building another one.

But we might see a significant renovation to the Arena.

 

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You would benefit with the local of Newport on the Levee, being at the foot of the Purple People Bridge. Staying on the Riverfront is huge, as it wouldn't be isolated inside of the city, it stays open to Kentucky. There are 2 parking garages to the west of what I proposed, you can connect that one garage to a new Arena. As another person stated, with the old site, extend the Banks to the east to give GABP an all around Urban feel. I would hate for the Arena stay in the same spot it's at now, right on top of GABP, it needs to be spread out. You also benefit from Yeatmans Cove and Sawyer Point already being there.

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I think it looks outdated and ugly, but I don't think cities should be spending a bunch of money on new arenas and stadiums right now. In nearly every city that landed new facilities, the projects ended up being overblown for spinoff potential. Real growth has come from other projects (residential conversions, offices moving downtown, Gen Y, etc.). We went through this 20-year phase of replacing half the nation's municipal arenas, and I don't know if that was the best use of city/county tax dollars...

 

If the arena is still functional, it might make sense to just remodel. Also, what about luxury suites? It's my understanding that is a big motivation for replacing arenas...

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US Bank has been remodeled a few times, it seems like. I'm not sure that you're going to do a whole lot to fix the fact that it is simply not a modern arena. The concourses are very narrow and the seating layout is not really consistent with modern arenas, which tend to have steeper seating with multiple tiers to put the fans closer to the action/stage/whatever. US Bank is fine for its current uses, but I can't see it drawing major tenants even with another remodel.

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Where else could you place a new Arena? As you stated that it would be too far away from the Massive Riverfront parking, but would be next to two large parking garages. It's annoying going to Reds games and having to walk passed this eye sore. Riverfront Stadium lacked so many things that we now enjoy at the newer venues. I don't think that the tax payer should foot the bill, but offer other types of incentives for the Owners of USBA to relocate. The city would down the road benefit from an expanded Banks, and would give a more consistent look to the Riverfront. I don't want them to put perfume on a pig by renovating, you also don't have to build the prettiest Arena. Anything is an improvement though.

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In nearly every city that landed new facilities, the projects ended up being overblown for spinoff potential. Real growth has come from other projects (residential conversions, offices moving downtown, Gen Y, etc.). We went through this 20-year phase of replacing half the nation's municipal arenas, and I don't know if that was the best use of city/county tax dollars...

 

 

I think this is definitely true when talking about outdoor stadiums and ballparks, but I can think of quite a few arenas that have really brought new life into their surroundings.  The two that jump out at me are 1) Verizon Center in DC and 2) Staples Center in LA.  In DC the arena has pumped a ton of life and investment into the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area.  Staples is a different example of an arena spurring development, as it has been the impetus for the development of LA Live, which is in the process of expanding.  It (along with the convention center) created an anchor for the southern portion of Downtown LA, which has proved to be very valuable in the renaissance of Downtown LA in general.

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I think in LA's case, there were so many other things going on, I'd argue against the arena being the sole catalyst. Downtown LA was coming back with or without that arena. A ton of new transit lines going downtown, a huge surge in population (particularly young singles), and the booming arts scene are the real engines of Downtown LA. I think the hotels, theaters, and museums of LA Live are doing more on a day-to-day basis than Staples Center (don't have numbers, but that's my impression). The arena is just a very small piece of that puzzle. Either way, LA's situation will not be duplicated in Cincinnati. Huge differences in scale and target market exist between the cities.

 

No idea on DC's results, so no comment. But it does look like that's as functionally urban as any arena in America. It maintained density, and that location was perfect for transit connections.

 

*Agree though that Staples is a model development for an NBA team. That's probably more the exception to the rule when discussing arenas...I don't think any other city has something like LA Live, and its transit service is excellent.

 

**The real selling point in both those models you cited is transit connectivity. Unfortunately in Ohio, transit is pretty limited, which is part of the limitation that exists with arena spinoff. If people can get drunk and take cheap transit home, that helps a ton with spinoff business. :evil: Great models of functionally urban municipal arenas exist in Toledo and Grand Rapids. They've certainly been huge success stories, but in both cases, their respective cities tend to oversell, and spinoff is more limited than was promised, or was a result of other factors (people moving downtown, which is a trend older than the arenas).

 

***And I'd argue ballparks have seen some of the most success with spinoff. AT&T in SF has been nothing short of shocking in terms of spinoff. Part of the reason I like baseball stadiums is that long season with tons of home games. It locks in a big number of dates. With arenas, it's tougher to get those numbers...

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I'd rather see it moved further into the city somewhere.... maybe somewhere along Central Parkway / Ezzard Charles near Music Hall? I've always liked how the United Center in Chicago is located not directly in the city, but close.

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There isn't a market for a new arena in Cincy. An owner can't book enough business to cover debt service. Verizon Center has an NHL team, and NBA team

and Georgetown basketball. I think you would see some solid renovations to US Bank if UC parked basketball down there.

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I think in LA's case, there were so many other things going on, I'd argue against the arena being the sole catalyst. Downtown LA was coming back with or without that arena. A ton of new transit lines going downtown, a huge surge in population (particularly young singles), and the booming arts scene are the real engines of Downtown LA. I think the hotels, theaters, and museums of LA Live are doing more on a day-to-day basis than Staples Center (don't haven numbers, but that's my impression). The arena is just a very small piece of that puzzle. Either way, LA's situation will not be duplicated in Cincinnati. Huge differences in scale and target market exist between the cities.

 

I agree the arena wasn't the sole reason for the comeback of DTLA, but the Staples Center has been extremely influential contributor.  Without Staples, LA Live doesn't happen. Not a chance.  You could argue that downtown would still be coming back without the newish South Park district that has formed in the area near the arena, but keep in mind, this was the first area of Downtown to 'come back'.  Downtown LA was an after thought for years, and if you ask some westsiders, it still is.  The arena reintroduced the region to downtown, and it's construction allowed the clearing of a pretty blighted area.  Also, google the 'Figueroa Corridor'...it's a major development initiative for the city, and connects downtown to USC/Expo Park. Staples Center and LA Live is paramount to this.

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I think it's dangerous to compare the Staples Center to anything that can be accomplished in Ohio. It's taking the best case scenario that an arena can accomplish in a very unique situation (crappy area with excellent new-build transit service) and trying to apply it elsewhere. I guess that's my main point. I don't see Staples Center being relevant to Cincinnati because the spinoff that exists won't be built many places outside LA. A city of 4 million can accomplish a lot more than a city of 300,000, and LA Live has a unique tourist-heavy cultural aspect that Cincinnati doesn't have. I wonder how many visitors are city, county, or from outside the metro area?

 

*I suspect most West Siders still don't go downtown. :wink: I bet the majority of LA Live visitors are tourists from out of town.

 

**I think Cincinnati is fine without a new arena. Downtown Cincy already has enough big ticket items (baseball stadium and football stadium) that adding a new municipal arena won't create much more spinoff...though it could help with the winter lull most northern cities experience. I agree with earlier posters that it should only be considered if UC plays there to help lock in more dates...

 

With that said, building it by Duke Energy Convention Center makes sense to me if the goal is to duplicate what other cities have done by marrying their convention center and arena together.

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Why are we talking about this?  There are no plans to bring an NBA or NHL team to town, and that would be the only reason to build a new arena. 

 

College programs are not NBA teams.  A bad NBA team is still an NBA team.  An elite program can fall into the cellar in a matter of hours after the departure of a coach.  It happened here when Huggins was fired.  So Louisville is not a model we should be emulating. 

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I think it's dangerous to compare the Staples Center to anything that can be accomplished in Ohio. It's taking the best case scenario that an arena can accomplish in a very unique situation (crappy area with excellent new-build transit service) and trying to apply it elsewhere. I guess that's my main point. I don't see Staples Center being relevant to Cincinnati because the spinoff that exists won't be built many places outside LA. A city of 4 million can accomplish a lot more than a city of 300,000, and LA Live has a unique tourist-heavy cultural aspect that Cincinnati doesn't have. I wonder how many visitors are city, county, or from outside the metro area?

 

*I suspect most West Siders still don't go downtown. :wink: I bet the majority of LA Live visitors are tourists from out of town.

 

**I think Cincinnati is fine without a new arena. Downtown Cincy already has enough big ticket items (baseball stadium and football stadium) that adding a new municipal arena won't create much more spinoff...though it could help with the winter lull most northern cities experience. I agree with earlier posters that it should only be considered if UC plays there to help lock in more dates...

 

With that said, building it by Duke Energy Convention Center makes sense to me if the goal is to duplicate what other cities have done by marrying their convention center and arena together.

 

Just returned from a business convention in Orange Co, Newport Beach, really nice. Next year we are going to Downtown LA and looking forward to that.

 

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Cincinnati/Hamilton County already has two major cultural facility burdens (Music Hall and Union Terminal) to tackle, not to mention significant debt from the two new stadiums. I think we can stick it out with an older arena for another decade, at least.

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Why are we talking about this?  There are no plans to bring an NBA or NHL team to town, and that would be the only reason to build a new arena. 

 

College programs are not NBA teams.  A bad NBA team is still an NBA team.  An elite program can fall into the cellar in a matter of hours after the departure of a coach.  It happened here when Huggins was fired.  So Louisville is not a model we should be emulating. 

 

Ville and UK are the only games in town, no competition from Reds Bengals. No new arena Downtown, you have to have NBA, NHL to make that work.

UK just announced a $310 Million renovation to Rupp. UK and Ville put up nothing for their respective deals. As long as a renovation occurs at 5/3 or

US Bank then Mick Cronin retires at UC. Within 10 years he will pass Huggs for most wins at UC. That being said only 2 jobs Mick would look at

would be Ville and UK. Primary reason UC went into the toilet is that Mick inherited 1 player, Ced McGowan, and he had zero recruits.

When he accepted the UC job, not kidding, he had 1 scholly player. My money is on UC parking bball downtown if AEG renovates US Bank.

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US Bank is still fine for a Hockey arena but not as a basketball arena, and still it is dated by even modern Hockey arenas. Exterior is poor and the interior has narrow concourses, limited skyboxes, and limited ability to reconfigure in its present footprint.  I don't know if the proposed location mentioned next to Lytle Place is an option because US Bank is small by arena standards today.

 

That said, I cant see anything major happening there until a major tenant is in place. It was built because the Stingers came to town in the 70s so there was a major tenant. The last renovation in 97 was for the Cyclones when they played at a higher level, however, the debt service on that renovation threw the facility into bankruptcy only 4 years later. Minor league sports will not finance the construction of a major arena, and UC cannot carry the bill the same way Louisville or UK can because there is no competition in town. UC, even in good times only averaged 12-13k a game.  Plus college bball averages about 15 home games a year as opposed to 40 for NHL or NBA. That means there are a lot more concerts, needed to fill the arena with decent crowds. Minor league teams can help cover the costs but do not bring in a large enough gate to justify the cost of the arena.

 

Cincinnati would need something that would draw about 17k fans around 40 times a year to justify it which we do not have that type of base right now.

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I think it's dangerous to compare the Staples Center to anything that can be accomplished in Ohio. It's taking the best case scenario that an arena can accomplish in a very unique situation (crappy area with excellent new-build transit service) and trying to apply it elsewhere. I guess that's my main point. I don't see Staples Center being relevant to Cincinnati because the spinoff that exists won't be built many places outside LA. A city of 4 million can accomplish a lot more than a city of 300,000, and LA Live has a unique tourist-heavy cultural aspect that Cincinnati doesn't have. I wonder how many visitors are city, county, or from outside the metro area?

 

*I suspect most West Siders still don't go downtown. :wink: I bet the majority of LA Live visitors are tourists from out of town.

 

**I think Cincinnati is fine without a new arena. Downtown Cincy already has enough big ticket items (baseball stadium and football stadium) that adding a new municipal arena won't create much more spinoff...though it could help with the winter lull most northern cities experience. I agree with earlier posters that it should only be considered if UC plays there to help lock in more dates...

 

With that said, building it by Duke Energy Convention Center makes sense to me if the goal is to duplicate what other cities have done by marrying their convention center and arena together.

 

Agreed.  Staples is unique in that it hosts 2 NBA teams, an NHL team, WNBA, and a ton of concerts/events.  It's not comparable to Cincinnati; I was just making the point that arenas tend to be better investments than stadiums or ballparks, simply because they can be used for more things, and year round.

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The arena debate is very infuriating. To me it's yet another example of the City of Cincinnati and UC thinking too small.

 

No, I haven't run the numbers, but UC and the city should expeditiously explore jointly partnering on a downtown arena. UC instantly becomes the region's bball school because people will be much more inclined to go see a competitive bball game at a nice arena with ample parking, comfortable seating, and great amenities whether you're a casual fan, an apathetic UC fan, or a general basketball lover. The arena will instantly be a credible venue for all the major concerts and sporting events (NCAA opening and regional final rounds, NCAA hockey tournament, NBA exhibitions) that the city will continue to lose out on due to US Bank Arena. In addition, the city will be able to submit very credible bids for the GOP and DEM national conventions every four years, which has a comparable economic impact to the Super Bowl.

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^ But do those things all add up to a NET benefit to the city coffers?  Arenas, stadiums, convention centers, entertainment districts, corporate headquarters, these are all trotted out as magic bullet solutions to a city's woes, and they don't ever seem to pan out.  Sure it sounds good if a big convention brings in say $10 million in economic benefit (just pulling that number out of the air), but it's not a win if it costs $15 million.  So many of these big facilities need taxpayer subsidies not only to be built but to operate, and what benefits do materialize don't seem to accrue back to the entity that has to pay for it all.  It's sort of a "public risk private benefit" situation.  Just look at things like the Olympics.  These cities spend billions if not tens of billions of dollars on many white elephant projects, and while they certainly do benefit some from the Olympic games themselves, and from some use of the facilities afterwards, the trail of bankrupt municipalities left in its wake shows that what these cities spend is not compensated by what they receive back.  With a lot of these sports venues it seems that they're "hopelessly outdated" and "need replacing" before they're even paid off.  That's not good business. 

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UC instantly becomes the region's bball school because people will be much more inclined to go see a competitive bball game at a nice arena with ample parking, comfortable seating, and great amenities whether you're a casual fan, an apathetic UC fan, or a general basketball lover. The arena will instantly be a credible venue for all the major concerts and sporting events (NCAA opening and regional final rounds, NCAA hockey tournament, NBA exhibitions) that the city will continue to lose out on due to US Bank Arena.

 

As to the first, you already have that with Cintas Center.  :)  (Xavier fan having to speak up.) 

 

Honestly, as a city resident, there are things I'd rather see limited resources spent on.  If UC wants to build a new arena and do it downtown, go for it.  But I don't think they will. 

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The only way I could see a new arena working in Cincinnati without a major league team as a tenant would be to incorporate it with the convention center. It would allow larger conventions in a connecting space and an arena that connects to the convention center too. This is a pipe dream, but the only way I think it could be financially justified is to have some sort of arrangement like this.

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I just don't see there being demand for this right now.  Sure, I don't like US Bank arena and it's dated, but serves it's current purpose fairly well.  You need to have a reason to build a new arena beyond aesthetics.  If you could pull in either an NHL team, an NBA team, or both, then you have need of a new arena.  Maybe UC could fill the place, but they don't play enough games and if they're downtown it's that much harder for students to attend.  I seem to remember hearing that they value having their arena on campus.  Yeah, you could put it next to the Duke Energy Center, but you'd better be able to consistently book really large conventions to make that work.  Given the current state of things, and that public financing would almost certainly be involved, I'd prefer that type of money be put into a regional transit system.

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There is no demand for a new arena right now. But the best location would be at the corner of MLK and Reading. Good accessibility from the new MLK interchange, close enough to UC that it could be a joint UC/city or UC/county venture. Gets rid of a giant parking lot.

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^ But would likely spawn many new parking lots around it.  The United Center in Chicago is a travesty of urban destruction.  It's doubly infuriating that they still haven't managed to build an L station there either.  If Chicago can screw it up so badly, imagine what could happen here.

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^ But would likely spawn many new parking lots around it.  The United Center in Chicago is a travesty of urban destruction.  It's doubly infuriating that they still haven't managed to build an L station there either.  If Chicago can screw it up so badly, imagine what could happen here.

 

The L does not go to the United Center? that is bad planning.

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When the previously non-revenue Paulina Connector was repurposed as part of the new pink line it established L service within two blocks of the United Center.  They just haven't built a station along it.  The green line is just four blocks north, but there's no stations along that stretch either.  It's criminal. 

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The only way I could see a new arena working in Cincinnati without a major league team as a tenant would be to incorporate it with the convention center. It would allow larger conventions in a connecting space and an arena that connects to the convention center too. This is a pipe dream, but the only way I think it could be financially justified is to have some sort of arrangement like this.

 

I agree and even then I don't see it happening. 5/3 at UC gets a renovation or UC works out a deal where hopefully AEG renovates US Bank and

does a deal with UC. Also US Bank has 2 concourses, 1 is interior where you can see the court (that is wide) and the concourse where concessions

and restrooms are located. A solid renovation down there would modernize it enough.........suite in the lower portion of the upper seating area

and you gut some of concession areas, open it up, and fill that with restaurant/bar areas with tables, seating, flat screens etc.

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When the previously non-revenue Paulina Connector was repurposed as part of the new pink line it established L service within two blocks of the United Center.  They just haven't built a station along it.  The green line is just four blocks north, but there's no stations along that stretch either.  It's criminal. 

Close but no cigar

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To think we would not have to be having this conversation if we only built the Hippodome in Butler County like they proposed in the 1990s.

 

As a blast from the past, does anyone have any articles on that?

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^Honestly, IMO the best shot at an NBA/NHL team would be to put it in Butler County and market it to both Cincinnati and Dayton.  (Or Warren County, wherever.)  The Reds (and to a lesser extent the Bengals) get a great deal of support from metro Dayton historically, but if you were to bring an NBA/NHL team and call it the "Cincinnati whatever" it would be very tough for a metro of 2.2 million to support it and an NFL and NBA team.  Put it in the metroplex and it might have a shot. 

 

Not that this would ever happen, but that's about the only way I could see it.  (You could also see how it would be popular for concerts too.) 

 

That doesn't deal with UC's issues, though. 

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As much as I'd love a new arena the best solution is for UC and US Bank arena to partner to renovate the current arena. As far as concerts go, we have good options already. Most summer tours go to Riverbend and now Bunbury. Most smaller acts have options in town and outside of some of the bigger arena acts, Cincinnati doesn't miss out of much. The only real acts we miss out on are big stadium tours, which should go to PBS.

 

I'd love for Cincinnati to get NCAA tournaments but with other venues so close it's an uphill battle. However, a renovated US Bank Arena might be able to swipe the First Four from Dayton. UD Arena is a dump.

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As much as I'd love a new arena the best solution is for UC and US Bank arena to partner to renovate the current arena. As far as concerts go, we have good options already. Most summer tours go to Riverbend and now Bunbury. Most smaller acts have options in town and outside of some of the bigger arena acts, Cincinnati doesn't miss out of much. The only real acts we miss out on are big stadium tours, which should go to PBS.

 

I'd love for Cincinnati to get NCAA tournaments but with other venues so close it's an uphill battle. However, a renovated US Bank Arena might be able to swipe the First Four from Dayton. UD Arena is a dump.

 

^ Ah, probably a xavier fan.  :roll:

 

UD Arena is the best college basketball facility in Ohio, and it's not even close. Apparently, the NCAA, ESPN and CBS agree. I would hate to see it go but there have been rumblings that a new facility closer to campus is an eventuality. As it is, it's a star in the college basketball world and the only place that I've ever heard get louder is Rupp Arena. And Dayton continues to get the First Four because the city embraces it and puts on a great show; it's more than just the arena. The games are sold out, despite most of the teams being from far-flung locations. Cincinnati can't sell out NFL playoff games, Reds games without thousands of visiting fans, UC football/basketball games, etc. The thought of Cincinnati selling out games featuring Boise State, Cal, Iona and Western Kentucky is laughable.

 

Fifth Third Arena is a poorly designed shoebox ill-equipped for basketball and is incredibly annoying for casual fans to access. The Cintas Center is nothing more than the Nutter Center with blue seats - ugly as sin, dull and with a hideous cinderblock wall behind one of the baskets. Do they want to host basketball games or banquets? The Schott at OSU is a multipurpose monstrocity with no personality designed to accommodate hockey, which renders it as sterile and lifeless as most NBA arenas. Miami's Millett Hall is a cruel joke. BG, Cleveland State and Ohio have nice facilities.

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Now don't be dissin' my Schott now!

 

But I'll agree that UD Arena, for all its retro-glory, is probably Southwest Ohio's best arena for sports.  Certainly better than US Bank, Nutter, Cintas, Millett, that shoebox at UC, and DEFINITELY Hara and Cinti Gardens!

 

Even though I've never been, doesn't NKU have a nice arena?


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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^Honestly, IMO the best shot at an NBA/NHL team would be to put it in Butler County and market it to both Cincinnati and Dayton.  (Or Warren County, wherever.)  The Reds (and to a lesser extent the Bengals) get a great deal of support from metro Dayton historically, but if you were to bring an NBA/NHL team and call it the "Cincinnati whatever" it would be very tough for a metro of 2.2 million to support it and an NFL and NBA team.  Put it in the metroplex and it might have a shot. 

 

Not that this would ever happen, but that's about the only way I could see it.  (You could also see how it would be popular for concerts too.) 

 

That doesn't deal with UC's issues, though.

 

Cleveland tried that about 40 years ago between Cleveland and Akron. I think its now been about 20 years since the Richfield Colosseum was demoed. You could build an arena closer to or in Cincy and still market it to Dayton. Same thing happens in Cleveland though Cle-Akr is one media market.

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As much as I'd love a new arena the best solution is for UC and US Bank arena to partner to renovate the current arena. As far as concerts go, we have good options already. Most summer tours go to Riverbend and now Bunbury. Most smaller acts have options in town and outside of some of the bigger arena acts, Cincinnati doesn't miss out of much. The only real acts we miss out on are big stadium tours, which should go to PBS.

 

I'd love for Cincinnati to get NCAA tournaments but with other venues so close it's an uphill battle. However, a renovated US Bank Arena might be able to swipe the First Four from Dayton. UD Arena is a dump.

 

^ Ah, probably a xavier fan.  :roll:

 

UD Arena is the best college basketball facility in Ohio, and it's not even close. Apparently, the NCAA, ESPN and CBS agree. I would hate to see it go but there have been rumblings that a new facility closer to campus is an eventuality. As it is, it's a star in the college basketball world and the only place that I've ever heard get louder is Rupp Arena. And Dayton continues to get the First Four because the city embraces it and puts on a great show; it's more than just the arena. The games are sold out, despite most of the teams being from far-flung locations. Cincinnati can't sell out NFL playoff games, Reds games without thousands of visiting fans, UC football/basketball games, etc. The thought of Cincinnati selling out games featuring Boise State, Cal, Iona and Western Kentucky is laughable.

 

Fifth Third Arena is a poorly designed shoebox ill-equipped for basketball and is incredibly annoying for casual fans to access. The Cintas Center is nothing more than the Nutter Center with blue seats - ugly as sin, dull and with a hideous cinderblock wall behind one of the baskets. Do they want to host basketball games or banquets? The Schott at OSU is a multipurpose monstrocity with no personality designed to accommodate hockey, which renders it as sterile and lifeless as most NBA arenas. Miami's Millett Hall is a cruel joke. BG, Cleveland State and Ohio have nice facilities.

 

Ah, clearly a UD fan.  ;)

 

UD Arena is nice, but it is not the be-all end-all that some UD fans seems to think it is.  Because of the construction you can't have certain must-haves in this day and age (like the video screen in the middle) and are stuck with the crappy video boards at the end.  And there are some very nice seats, but the seats at the 400 level are WAAAAAY up there.  And just based on the age, it's not going to have the modern stuff that you see elsewhere (practice courts, training facilities, etc.). 

 

I know from some recent discussions on UD message boards that the idea of a new arena is at least being bandied about for UD.  Will be interesting to see if they do. 

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