Hara Arena closing its doors after 60 years

The final era of Hara Arena (Maytal Levi / WDTN Photo)

TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – The iconic venue that brought sports, concerts, entertainment and special interest shows to the Miami Valley for 60 years is closing their doors.

Hara Arena is closing due to not being able to overcome an internal legal battle that has spanned the last two decades.

“We are painfully aware of the loss this announcement will generate, which is why we have fought so long and hard to prevent it,” says Karen Wampler, Hara’s marketing director.

The loss will come in the form of $36 million in annual economic impact; youth, men’s and professional hockey programs; and the hundreds of events that called Hara home this past year.

“We had hoped to announce a new era at Hara, but are announcing the end of one, instead.” says Wampler.

According to the press release when Harold Wampler passed away in 1996 his unresolved estate – under which Hara is co-owned – launched into a two-decades long family and legal battle that drained Hara of the resources for much-needed renovations and reorganization.

“There’s a saying let go or be dragged and I think we’ve been dragged a little over the last year and it is time for the sake of Hara and our patrons to close this chapter.” says Wampler.

The Wamplers, with the help of national venue management company, VenuWorks, worked relentlessly for years to change that to a public/ private ownership structure to clear Hara’s debt, lighten its tax burden and place it on a more sustainable path, but were unsuccessful.

READ MORE: Hara Arena to overcome financial woes

Hara has hosted hundreds of high-profile events that include presidential visits, Wayne Gretzky’s pro hockey debut and performances by the Rolling Stones, Prince, Nirvana and the Grateful Dead.

The staff is working to help relocate as many Hara events as possible within Montgomery County.

2 NEWS recently reported that the The Dayton Demolition Hockey team that is housed by Hara Arena will not play this season citing lack of arena availability.

One of the most popular events at Hara Arena is Hamvention that had nearly 3,000 vendors from this May.

Hara’s final events include:

August 6 & 7th – Bill Goodman’s Gun & Knife Show / BA
August 21st – Die Cast Collectors Show/ EH
August 27th – Comic Book & Toy Show / SA
Hara Arena officials say they’re planning to auction venue equipment and furniture on August 27th before closing.



WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s