Covelli Centre

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Not to be confused with Covelli Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Covelli Centre
CovelliCentre.PNG
ChevyCentre.jpg
Former names Chevrolet Centre (2005–2009)
Youngstown Convocation Center (planning/construction)
Location 229 East Front Street
Youngstown, OH 44503
Owner City of Youngstown
Operator SMG
Capacity Basketball: 5,900
Ice Hockey/Arena Football: 5,717
Concerts: 7,000
Construction
Broke ground June 21, 2004[1]
Opened October 19, 2005
Construction cost $42 million
($50.7 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect PBK Architects, Ltd.
Project manager Frew Nations Group[3]
Structural engineer Cochrane Group, Inc.[4]
Services engineer Murray & Associates, Inc.[4]
General contractor Hunt/AP O'Horo[5]
Tenants
Youngstown SteelHounds (CHL) (2005–2008)
Mahoning Valley Thunder (AF2) (2007–2009)
Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) (2008–present)
Little Steel Derby Girls (WFTDA) (2012-present)

The Covelli Centre (formerly the Chevrolet Centre and during construction the Youngstown Convocation Center) is a 5,900-seat multi-purpose arena in Youngstown, Ohio, United States. It was built in 2005, thanks in a large part to a $26 million HUD redevelopment grant secured in 2000 by Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr. It is home to the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. The Covelli Centre is nicknamed The Chevy Centre/The Convo by most in the area as tribute to its former names (with the naming rights change, another popular nickname has yet to be determined).

History[edit]

The arena's grand opening was on October 29, 2005, when it hosted a concert by 3 Doors Down. The first hockey game was played about a week later, on November 4.

In Fall 2007, the city hired Eric Ryan Productions of nearby Struthers, Ohio, to temporarily operate the arena until the city could find another company to manage the facility. SMG and Global Spectrum are the final two companies in the running to run the Chevrolet Centre. The Chevy Centre was formerly managed by the International Coliseums Company, a subsidiary of Global Entertainment, which owns the Central Hockey League. On Friday, April 4, 2008; the city of Youngstown signed a deal with Ticketmaster to become the official ticket provider of the Chevrolet Centre. The arena itself is owned by the city.

The arena, which was initially named the Convocation Center when it opened in October, was renamed a few weeks after its opening on Friday November 18, 2005, when General Motors acquired the naming rights, and was renamed the Chevrolet Centre. Choosing Chevrolet for the naming rights was highly appropriate because one of the brand's more successful cars, the Cobalt, is manufactured in nearby Lordstown, Ohio.

On October 4, 2008, it was announced that GM had decided not to renew their naming rights deal with the city. The city was in the process of negotiating with local Chevy dealers to keep the name of the facility the same. [2] On Wednesday, April 30, 2009 Covelli Enterprises (a local franchise of Panera Bread and O'Charley's restaurants), signed a 3-year, $120,000 naming-rights deal, giving the Centre its current name (a complete signing switch is expected by June 1). [3]

Starting in November 2008, the Mahoning Valley Phantoms of the North American Hockey League played select home games at the arena. Upon joining the USHL, the Phantoms moved into the Covelli Centre full-time in 2009.

Naming to the Covelli Centre[edit]

On April 30, 2009, Sam Covelli, owner of many Panera and O'Charley's restaurants in the area, signed a 3 year, $360,000 contract to rename the then Chevrolet Centre to the Covelli Centre.[6] Covelli has indicated that he plans to work to more aggressively market the Centre.

The arena officially took on the Covelli Centre name on June 1, 2009.

Records[edit]

The arena's first sold-out performance(s) were on November 12, 2005, when it hosted two concerts by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Both 2:30 and 7:30 shows were sold out. The first sold-out hockey game was on January 14, 2006.

On March 8, 2010, it was announced that the Covelli Centre would host Elton John on May 1, 2010. The event sold out in a record time of thirty minutes on March 12, 2010, which eclipsed the previous record set by Carrie Underwood, an event that sold out in 48 hours.

Revitalization[edit]

The Covelli Centre has been at the forefront of what is hoped to be a major downtown revitalization in the city of Youngstown. The downtown economy has benefitted since its opening, primarily from guests patronizing its bars and restaurants before and after events.

The main entrance to the Covelli Centre.

In a deal that is unique compared to most American cities, the city and other private firms came to an agreement that allowed people to park for free in downtown on days when there is an event at the arena.

Selected events[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Mahoning Valley Thunder

2007 – 2009
Succeeded by
current

Coordinates: 41°05′52″N 80°38′48″W / 41.097711°N 80.646778°W / 41.097711; -80.646778