University of Toledo

Toledo,

Arena Feasibility Analysis

In 2003 the University of Toledo engaged B&D to complete a detailed market and financial analysis for a proposed arena renovation project. At the time, the university’s athletic department hosted all its events in the 37-year old Savage Hall including basketball, graduation, university-sponsored speaking engagements, and other events for area high schools. Testing proved that, structurally, the facility could continue serving the university, but its mechanical systems had reached or exceeded their life expectancy and the university was routinely reacting to maintenance problems resulting from these systems. In addition to these physical shortcomings, the lack of aesthetic appeal of Savage Hall had become glaringly apparent, particularly standing next to the recently renovated “Glass Bowl”–the university’s football complex. We were commissioned to analyze comparable facilities, evaluate the regional entertainment market, make recommendations on the facility size, project a likely event schedule, and develop a financial model to measure the performance of a renovated facility. The study included focus groups and user interviews. Our market analysis enabled us to accurately project support for a comprehensive enhancement project In fact, support was so high that, at the request of the university, we tested backing for the construction of a new arena. The findings of that study revealed the market had financial support for not only a renovation project, but also the construction of a new arena. Applying our recommendations, the university decided to move forward with a formal recommendation to the president’s office for the construction of a new 6,000-seat area and the renovation of Savage Hall into an indoor athletic field house. The university decided to move forward with a $30 million renovation to Savage Hall. Upgrades to the renamed Savage Arena were completed in 2008, and the facility earned LEED Gold certification in 2011.