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Toledo races to wrap up new arena

Downtown Toledo has been missing an important element: an arena large enough for major concerts, sporting events and traveling productions. The void will be filled in a big way this fall when the Lucas County Arena opens with seating for 7,500 to 9,000.

Home to the Bullfrogs indoor arena football team and the Walleyes hockey team, the arena will also be the first of its kind to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified.

The Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic is an LPGA event.

Lucas County Arena will be adjacent to Toledo’s SeaGate Convention Centre, the city’s primary meeting venue, 20 minutes from the Toledo Express Airport and 40 minutes from Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

SeaGate has a 75,000-square-foot exhibit hall and 19 meeting rooms, most in the 800- to 900-square-foot range. The Park Inn Toledo and the Hotel SeaGate are connected to the convention center, with a combined 622 guest rooms.

Also coming online this fall downtown will be Imagination Station, a hands-on science center on the riverfront. Formerly operated as COSI Toledo, the center has been closed since late 2007 and is reopening with a new name, new exhibits and programs, and a renewed dedication to making learning fun for all ages. Imagination Station will also be available for events.

Because of its location on Interstate 75 near the Michigan border, Toledo draws regional and national groups. A recent example is the National Amateur Baseball Federation, which had a tournament at the Lucas County Recreation Center.

During free time, players and guests could attend the Rib Off, a local festival; tour the Toledo Zoo; or watch a Mud Hens minor-league baseball game.

In August, Toledo also hosted GauFest, a four-day cultural convention of traditional Bavarian and Northern Tyrolean folk dancing, music and art. Members of more than 80 clubs of the German-American organization Gauverband of North America attended the convention at the the Seagate Centre.

Minor-league baseball fans have fun in the stands with the Toledo Mud Hens’ mascot, Muddy.

When groups opt for an off-site event, many choose the Toledo Museum of Art.

“We are becoming renowned for our museum’s collection of glass artifacts,” said Julie Bolfa, of the Destination Toledo Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The museum’s Glass Pavilion addition is home to more than 5,000 glass art pieces. The pavilion is also a piece of glass art, with exterior and nearly all interior walls made of large panels of curved glass. The pavilion and several other galleries can be configured to hold 200 to 300 people.

The Toledo Zoo is another popular choice for off-site events with options for indoor and outdoor events. The Broadway and Nairobi pavilions are options for warm-weather events and can accommodate up to 500 and 1,000 people, respectively. For indoor meetings, a meeting room in the African Lodge will seat up to 80 people, and an indoor theater seats 430.

Destination Toledo
(800) 243-4667

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