$10 million donation to OSU will pay for new arena


COLUMBUS — Ohio State University says it will use a $10 million gift to build a new 4,000-seat arena to replace the deteriorating St. John Arena.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that university officials are calling the gift from Buckeye booster Sam Covelli “one of the most transformational gifts ever” to the school. Covelli is the country's largest owner of Panera restaurants.

OSU athletic director Gene Smith said the new Covelli Arena will be home to seven varsity sports, including wrestling, volleyball and gymnastics. It also will serve as a training facility for men's and women's volleyball, an occasional venue for women's basketball and site of local tournaments and camps.

OSU hopes to break ground in late 2014 or early 2015.