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Published: Friday, 6/29/2007

July 23 newest date for razing Toledo Sports Arena

Paul Ringlein of the division of facility operations checks an arena chair. Fans can buy one for as little as $10 in cash. Paul Ringlein of the division of facility operations checks an arena chair. Fans can buy one for as little as $10 in cash.
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The wrecking ball set to demolish the Toledo Sports Arena seems to have lost a little momentum as it prepares to bring down the local landmark.

The demolition date for the arena, previously set for July 9, was pushed back yesterday to July 23 at the request of the contractor.

Prior to the demolition, the Sports Arena will be filled with machinery and workers, fixing asbestos problems and other necessary work.

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said the date is flexible and may change again before July 23.

Although Toledo sports fans will have a new arena for hockey, the mayor said he understands that many will miss the old venue.

"We're looking forward to the new beautiful facility downtown," Mayor Finkbeiner said. "But there is a sentimental value here."

Sports Arena fans are offered consolation in the form of souvenir seats. People may purchase seats from the Sports Arena for $10 apiece or three seats for $25. Seats can be purchased with cash only.

The seats can be bought at random or particular seats can be reserved in advance. Those who do not need a particular seat can pick up and pay for their chairs at the Sports Arena between 9 a.m. and noon tomorrow.

People requesting particular seats must call and pay in advance to reserve their chair. Pickup for reserved seats will be held at the Sports Arena on Tuesday. To reserve a seat, call the city at 419-936-2020.

Mike White, the city's commissioner of transportation and new project development, said officials have no idea how many seats will be sold.

But he said they do not plan to make a profit, given the low cost of seats and the money needed for the labor to remove seats.

"It'll be a wash," he said. "Any proceeds we do make would probably just go into the Marina District."

Land for the future Marina District - from the Acme power plant to the Sports Arena - will be available July 4 for families to watch the fireworks, the mayor said.

There will be a small fee for parking at the Sports Arena and no cars will be allowed on the grass.

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