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Published: Wednesday, 8/8/2007

Finkbeiner whacks arena with hammer for ceremonial start of demolition

BLADE STAFF

The first pieces of the 60-year-old Toledo Sports Arena began to fall this afternoon with Mayor Carty Finkbeiner s ceremonial swings of a sledgehammer into the back wall of a warehouse behind the arena.

Mr. Finkbeiner made contact with the warehouse wall on Toledo s east side at 3:39 p.m. He took two more swings, then handed the sledgehammer over to members of city council and members of the Marina District team.

A crane tore into the roof of the back warehouse at 3:43 p.m., knocking down the first significant piece of the storied structure, which was home to professional hockey, concerts, and many other events since 1947.

Michael White, Toledo s commissioner of engineering-new project development, said it could take three weeks before the actual arena is completely leveled.

About 100 people were on hand to watch the demolition process begin. Some were there in protest, while others said they wanted to witness a part of Toledo history.

Construction on a new, $85 million arena is scheduled to begin in downtown Toledo this fall.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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