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: