Dow Event Center

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Dow Event Center
"The Dow"
The Dow Event Center at night.jpg
Former names The Saginaw County Event Center
Saginaw Civic Center
Location 303 Johnson Street
Saginaw, MI 48607-1213
Owner Saginaw County
Operator SMG
Capacity Concerts: 7,647
Basketball: 6,217
Hockey 5,527
Indoor Football 5,201
Construction
Broke ground 1970
Opened 1972
Renovated 2003
Construction cost $17 million (renovation)
($21.8 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Wigen, Tincknell, Meyer & Associates, Inc.[2]
Tenants
Saginaw Gears (IHL) (1972-1983)
Saginaw Wheels (CHL) (1994-1996)
Saginaw Lumber Kings (UHL) (1996-1998)
Saginaw Gears (UHL) (1998-2000)
Saginaw Spirit (OHL) (2002-present)
Saginaw Sting (AIF) (2008-2009, 2011-present)

The Dow Event Center (formerly known as Saginaw County Event Center and Saginaw Civic Center) is in downtown Saginaw, Michigan. The center consists of several parts: The Atrium, The Garden Room, Heritage Theater, The Unity Hall, and Wendler Arena. It also houses the OHL junior ice hockey team Saginaw Spirit and American Indoor Football's Saginaw Sting. The facility has housed a number of hockey teams in the past, such as the Saginaw Lumber Kings and both the IHL and UHL incarnations of the Saginaw Gears.

Wendler Arena, named for former Mayor Paul H. Wendler, has a capacity of 7,600 people for concerts (without the ice), and 5,500 for hockey games. Heritage Theater has a capacity of 2,276 people.

Pregame Warm-up at Wendler Arena.

Originally built in 1972 as part of an urban development program, the center is the only structure left. Most of the other buildings were razed in the 1980s due to many problems, including health risks and foreclosure/bankruptcy.

For a time in the 1990s, the facility nearly faced foreclosure and bankruptcy due to lack of funds provided by the city. The facility underwent a series of much-needed renovations in early 2000s, mainly in hopes for a better facility to host their newly acquired hockey team. The naming rights of the facility were transferred in September 2004 to The Dow Chemical Company [1], headquartered in nearby Midland. The center was used two times during the summer of 2004 as a center for Republican political rallies in support for the re-election of U.S. President George W. Bush.

Voters transferred the ownership from the City of Saginaw to Saginaw County on May 8, 2001. The city then closed the facility on June 30, 2001, and the county reopened it on July 1. The county then appointed SMG Worldwide to manage the facility, and started updating and renovating the building. The total cost of the renovations was tagged at $17 million, and they were completed in 2003.

The center hosts many events, concerts, political rallies, and even graduations. Trade shows also take place here; the complex has 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of space at Wendler Arena.

It hosted the third WWF In Your House pay-per-view on September 24, 1995.

Jehovah's Witnesses District Conventions are held annually at the Dow Event Center. Starting in mid-June, and ending in early July, 3 day conventions held on every weekend in that time will occur. The Jehovah's Witnesses first started using the building in 2005, after rumors of demolition for the Pontiac Silverdome raised concern over where meetings would be held, as the Silverdome was the previous venue.[3]

One of the fastest sellouts in Dow Event Center's history took place in 2011, when Katy Perry brought her California Dreams Tour to Wendler Arena. The concert was sold out in record time to the point that the only way to get to the concert was to win tickets on radio stations across the Flint/Tri-Cities region or, in the case of concertgoers in the Flint area, drive to Auburn Hills or East Lansing, Michigan, two other nearby stops of her tour.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ http://www.kibbe.com/pdf/Dow_Event_Center-Saginaw_County_Event_Center-2003.pdf
  3. ^ Jehovah's Witnesses: April 6, 2006 News Release

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°26′09.50″N 83°56′12.80″W / 43.4359722°N 83.9368889°W / 43.4359722; -83.9368889