Hamvention boosts Hara Arena

Hamvention 2014. (WDTN Photo)
Hamvention at Hara Arena. (WDTN Photo)

TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – The 64th annual Hamvention isn’t just for amateur radio fans.

The event has all sorts of electronics and more than 100 flea market vendors in the Hara Arena parking lot. Thousands are expected to walk through the doors this weekend into a the worlds largest amateur radio event.

“Dayton is a mecca in communications throughout the world, you’ll find computers, radio gear and all types of electronic gadgets” said Michael Kalter, Hamvention spokesperson.

Hamvention organizers anticipate a $15,000,000 economic impact this year on our region.

“It means a great deal not only to Dayton, to Trotwood, to the region well beyond the borders, we have 25,000 people visit us from all over the world” said Karen Wampler, Hara Arena marketing director.

The event is one that Hara Arena relies on. Hara’s Director of Marketing Karen Wampler says it is tough for the complex to compete with venues like the Nutter Center, but they’re keeping a positive attitude.

“Hamvention is a spring staple for the Miami Valley what people don’t know is its the largest amateur radio gathering in the world, its international in scope and I think people underestimate that” said Wampler.

However, the venue has struggled financially in the past. 2 NEWS first told you last year that Hara’s biggest challenge was finding the money to keep the facility up to date.

That’s when the arena teamed up with VenuWorks, a consulting company. Now, Wampler says things are shaping up…with a multi-million dollar face-lift in the works.

“Our goal is to generate an infusion of funds for renovations so we can accommodate events like Hamvention but attract new ones to the region” said Wampler.

Hara Arena hopes to formally announce their renovation plans by the end of this summer.

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