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Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is Expanding

The Coliseum's Expo Center will soon be able to host larger trade shows and events than ever before.
The Coliseum's Expo Center will soon be able to host larger trade shows and events than ever before.

The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is widely known as the home of the Komets, MadAnts, a concert venue for big named artists, Vera Bradley shows, and of course, trade shows and conventions.

Currently the Exposition Center inside the Coliseum is 108,000 square feet.  The 22,000 square foot expansion will make the Expo Center 130,000 square feet, making it large enough to hose even bigger trade shows and events.

"Sounds like the farm show that are here now, this show has a waiting list of 150 companies that wanna get into the show, which is very typically of most of our big shows.  They're all looking for more space."

Randy Brown, Vice President and General Manager of the Coliseum says the additional space will allow more companies to participate in the shows and provide more meeting rooms for convention goers.

"For those shows that don't need the big bulk space, that need more meeting rooms, it'll have air walls, the big portable walls, and one room or four smaller rooms."

The total cost of the expansion will be approximately $12 million dollars, and will be paid for by the excess revenue from taxes collected from previous shows and events at the Coliseum.

Fred Cline, Show Director for trade expos and the Fort Wayne Farm Show, says that the extension will contribute to the Coliseum's growth, and will allow space for new shows.

"It'll be fun, cause you can add fresh exhibitors to the show and keep it fresh and new.  We're hoping to feature technology and feature some new exhibitors that have not been able to get in the past, and we'll fill her up the first year."

2012, The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum's economic impact was just over $111 million dollars.  The Coliseum continues every year to make a huge impact on our local economy, and Brown says the expansion is sure to make an even bigger impact.

"The Coliseum means jobs.  Jobs for our friends and neighbors, so the more out of towners we bring in, the more people we can attract to the events here at the Coliseum.  It's all jobs."

The expansion is scheduled to begin construction in January of 2015.  It will take 1 year to complete, and is expected to be finished by January of 2016.
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