The field house at Tam O'Shanter is now the site of basketball, soccer, lacrosse and other strenuous sports, but may soon be host to bridal shows and conventions.
Officers of the board of Tam O'Shanter in Sylvania are taking steps to make the facility usable for non-athletic events, particularly in the warmer months when activity lags there.
Tom Cline, manager of Tam O'Shanter, said that during cold weather, there is a seemingly never-ending string of events at the field house, but efforts to keep it busy at other times have fallen short.
Mr. Cline said there have been pushes to promote activities like hockey on in-line skates, but it's hard to beat the fact that, "when it's truly nice out, why do you want to be inside?''
He said there's no intention of disrupting scheduled sports event or changing the use of the field house during late fall and winter when a variety of sports leagues keep it in nearly-constant use.
There is no plan to alter the use of the two hockey rinks at the center on Sylvania Avenue.
Tom Lindsley, chairman of the Tam O'Shanter board, said a marketing committee has been formed to determine what functions might be attracted to Tam O'Shanter and how to best serve those needs.
He said everything from bingo games to trade shows and boat shows have been mentioned as potential non-athletic uses for the field house.
During the colder months he said athletic events, "are at or near capacity,'' but the building has more potential, "and we'd be foolish not to take advantage of it.''
He and Mr. Cline said the idea began to grow after a rally featuring Vice President Dick Chaney was held there in October.
The event went well, but for the field house to be used for similar events on a regular basis, an improved fire-suppression system needs to be installed and more doorways need to be available.
Parking could also be an issue for larger events. Using available space at Southview High School, the Boulevard Church of Christ, both across the street, and Olander Park to the east will have to be discussed.
Mr. Cline said there is no timetable set for the field house transition, but added that most large events are already booked into other places for this year.
He said he would like to see Tam O'Shanter host a few events later this summer, and be prepared for a full schedule during the warmer months of 2006.Tam O'Shanter is owned by Sylvania and leased to the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District, which subleases the property to the board of Tam O'Shanter.
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