Friday, November 18 2011
EVANSVILLE - Downtown businesses are excited that the new Ford Center is up and running, not only from the standpoint of entertainment value, but monetary value as well.
Since the Ford Center has opened, a few events, including UE basketball and Icemen hockey games, have been held there. These events have attracted additional crowds to downtown Evansville and the surrounding stores, shops and bars have benefited.
Main Gate Sports Bar and Grill is one of those businesses. Blake Billman, manager of Main Gate, is excited about the additional customers his bar has received, and said he had great success during last weekend's Icemen game.
"We had to keep track of how many people were coming in," Billman said. "And I had to end up cutting and shutting down. We were at capacity and couldn't let anybody else in. So, great problem to have, unfortunately, you know, we can't pack the place full due to fire code and all that. But it was awesome."
Thursday, October 20 2011
Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel says construction of the Ford Center created 30 percent more local jobs than originally estimated. The city says more than three-quarters of the nearly 1,600 workers on the new downtown arena are members of local trade unions.
Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is pleased to announce that the construction of the Ford Center created 30 percent more jobs for local laborers than originally estimated.
Collectively, the 1,597 people who completed safety orientation training logged approximately 692,862 hours on the project. According to Hunt Construction, 1,275, or 80 percent, of those who worked on the Ford Center are members of local trade unions.
An initial economic impact study, completed before construction on the facility began, estimated that only 50 percent of jobs created would be from local labor.
“When we began this project in 2008, we knew it would benefit hundreds of local families by putting men and women from our community to work. Today, I am proud to report that the economic impact of the construction of the Ford Center has exceeded our expectations. With Indiana and the nation struggling with record unemployment, we created good paying jobs for nearly 1,300 area residents,” said Mayor Weinzapfel.
“The construction of the Ford Center provided a much needed boost for all of our local craftspeople. We are proud of the work that’s been done and proud to have been part of the project. Hunt Construction created a great environment on the job and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner,” said Jack McNeely, President of the Central Labor Council. “The Ford Center is going to be a significant asset for Evansville.”
To thank all of the men and women who worked countless hours to make the Ford Center a reality, a contractor appreciation event is being held this Saturday.
It is a celebration of the workers’ achievement and an opportunity to showcase the project to family and friends.
The multi-purpose Ford Center will be the region’s center for sports and entertainment, designed to host basketball, hockey, concerts, exhibitions, and shows for audiences as large as 11,000.
Thursday, August 25 2011
A group of auto dealerships has secured the naming rights for the new downtown Evansville Arena. The Tri-State Ford Dealers will pay $4.2 million over 10 years to name the building the Ford Center. The new arena is expected to create more than 300 part-time jobs when it opens later this year.
Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is pleased to announce that the Tri-State Ford Dealers have acquired the naming rights for the new Evansville arena, which will hereafter be known as the Ford Center. The naming rights agreement, which will be presented to the Evansville Redevelopment Commission for approval on September 7, calls for the Tri-State Ford Dealers to pay the City of Evansville more than $4.2 million over a 10-year period.
“For a global company like Ford to decide that a marketing investment in Evansville is money well spent, well that just confirms that we’re a community on the rise and that we’ve got a stellar facility,” said Mayor Weinzapfel. “We obviously couldn’t predict what kind of response we’d receive when we put feelers out about naming rights for the new arena, especially in the current economic climate, so this is big time. Hats off to VenuWorks, particularly Steve Peters and Scott Schoenike, the Tri-State Ford Dealers, and everyone who made this deal possible.”
“The Ford Dealers throughout the Tri-State Region are excited to partner with the City of Evansville in becoming the naming rights partner of this fabulous facility. It will play an important role in transforming downtown Evansville. It is a place where they can showcase their world-class lineup of fuel efficient cars and trucks. This is a unique opportunity for the Tri-State Ford Dealers to support the City of Evansville while also reaching consumers outside their stores. The Ford Center is a first-class, state-of-the-art facility that mirrors what Ford is all about: Quality, Technology and Innovation,” said Rob Reynolds, Ford Senior Account Supervisor.
“These are indeed exciting times for the City of Evansville and the region with the construction of a new 11,000-seat facility now named the Ford Center. I believe you will see increased activity on Main Street as it transforms into a destination,” added Scott Schoenike, VenuWorks Executive Director, the firm that manages the Ford Center for the City.
The Ford Center is expected to draw more than 300,000 people through the doors in its first year with a variety of diverse family entertainment and sporting events, including serving as the home court for the University of Evansville men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as the home ice for the Evansville IceMen hockey team of the Central Hockey League (CHL).
The Ford Center is expected to create more than 300 part-time jobs in positions such as ushers, ticket sellers, ticket takers, concessions, and catering. In addition, local businesses around downtown and throughout the Evansville area will certainly see a positive impact because of the Ford Center, particularly restaurants and bar establishments that event attendees will patronize before and after Ford Center events.
Source: City of Evansville & InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report