(KALAMAZOO) – Plans to build a downtown Kalamazoo event center has cleared a major hurdle.
According to WWMT, the Kalamazoo County Commission by a 9-0 vote approved the purchase agreement of a privately funded downtown event center. The cost to build the facility is estimated at $300 million.
The proposed event center is expected to support over 200 events per year, create nearly 700 jobs, see almost 55,000 attendees annually, and infuse nearly $54 million into the local economy on an annual basis, according to the proposal given to the Commissioners.
Organizers say the arena could host Western Michigan University Athletics, including basketball and hockey, the Kalamazoo Wings, and concert events. Up to 8,000 seats could be available for the concert setting, and around 6,000 seats are expected for basketball and hockey games.
The proposed project will be funded by anonymous investors, and not use any taxpayers' dollars.
The proposed site for the event center is between North Westnedge Avenue and Park Street across from the new Kalamazoo County courthouse currently under construction.
The early design plans call for the center to be broken up into sections that include a practice ice rink, parking deck, event hall, and more.