Is A New Arena And Events Center Coming To Downtown Kalamazoo?
There have been talks for over 20 years about an arena and events center coming to downtown Kalamazoo and now it's looking to be more than talk.
Look What Van Andel Arena Has Done For Grand Rapids
Long before I lived in the Grand Rapids area, I performed in a band at several clubs in the area for several years and remember a different city than I know now. It was a city that's downtown area was slowly fading but in 1996 something happened.
Van Andel Arena opened its doors in downtown Grand Rapids and the city began to flourish again. Concerts and comedy shows from some of entertainment's biggest stars began coming to the city, as did the fans. Soon hotels, restaurants, and other downtown businesses began to flourish.
Breweries like Founders Brewing Company opened up shop and just over a decade later Grand Rapids began being referred to as Beer City USA because of all the local breweries.
20 Monroe Live (now called the GLC Live at 20 Monroe) opened to facilitate the smaller bands that were not quite big enough to fill Van Andel Arena. Now the city is an entertainment mecca on the West side of Michigan and it's thriving.
Just think what a new arena could bring to Kalamazoo.
Possible Arena and Events Center Coming to Downtown Kalamazoo
There's nothing like having some investors offering to build an arena in your downtown that doesn't cost taxpayers one red cent while the city and county reap the benefits of tax dollars and money coming into Kalamazoo's hotels, restaurants, and other downtown businesses.
According to WOOD, the facility would be 320,000 square feet that include a 7000 to 8000-seat arena, two basketball courts, an event hall, practice ice, and two parking garages.
The location of the possible arena and events center would be a four-block area that runs along Kalamazoo Avenue and Water Street between Westnedge Avenue and Park Street. There's even talk of Western Michigan University sports using the facility for games and even a possible move for the Kalamazoo Wings.
The project is expected to bring in nearly $55 million to the local economy which would be huge for Kalamazoo and its businesses. A purchase agreement for 2 pieces of land has already been approved.