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Published: Friday, 10/9/2009

Parking, police to be plentiful near arena

BLADE STAFF

If you're attending the new Lucas County Arena's first paid event tonight, don't worry about security or parking. There will be plenty of both.

Outside, the Toledo Police Department's bike patrol will concentrate on the areas around the arena. Inside, Lucas County sheriff's deputies and private security will be much in evidence.

The bike patrol officers "will be there to make sure people are safe getting to and from their cars," police Deputy Chief Don Kenney said.

As for parking, more than 15,000 spaces are within a six-block radius of the arena, and 5,000 spaces are within two blocks.

Arena staff have been busy getting the $105 million facility ready, according to General Manager Steve Miller. "This is the first ticket event, so we're really excited about it," he said.

Mr. Miller said he expected the 7,600-seat arena at 500 Jefferson Ave. to be nearly full for tonight's show with Jeff Dunham and his puppet ensemble. The doors open at 7 p.m. The show starts at 8 and should be over by about 10 or 10:15, Mr. Miller said.

"There are just a couple of hundred seats available," he said.

One parking lot company, ReuPark, is offering special prices for arena events and has advance parking reservations available at 419-241-3400.

Dan Zawisza, the firm's director of parking operations, said parking at ReuPark's 200-space lot at 150 Water St., behind Fort Industry Square, will be only $3 tonight. At ReuPark's 330-space lot at 421 North Superior St., a couple of blocks from the arena, the charge will be $5.

The pricing policy will remain in effect for all arena events this year, Mr. Zawisza said. "I don't know if there will be a lot of takers. We're not as close to the arena as some of the parking lots, so we're adjusting our prices."

Jeff Dunham has had several specials on Comedy Central and ranked as the third-highest grossing comic last year, behind Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, according to Forbes magazine.

He's performing in Toledo as part of a 60-date Comedy Central Live Tour. Tickets are $45.50.



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