UD Arena renovations big piece of landing major event extension

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The $72 million renovation of UD Arena is in phase 2 with two shifts of construction workers tackling the big project

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Major renovations to the University of Dayton Arena are continuing to reap benefits for the area, as one of the largest events in the Miami Valley has extended Dayton as its host city well into the next decade.

The board of the Winter Guard International World Championships, an event that the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates draws 60,000 visitors and $20 million in revenue to the area each year, recently voted to extend Dayton as its host city through 2024.

>> VIDEO: UD provides inside look at arena renovation

According to the WGI, the renovations to UD Arena were a “major factor” in the decision to extend Dayton as its host city. It cited new handrails, new video boards and increased ADA accessibility at the arena as part of the decision to stay.

“We’re thrilled to have them with us for another five years,” said Scott DeBolt, the director of the UD Arena.

The renovations are part of the biggest project in the University of Dayton's more than 160-year history. At a total cost of $72 million, the renovations include replacing all 13,450 seats, new air conditioning and WiFi and a new main concourse around the bowl.

The arena isn't the only area building that's being renovated. The Marriott at the University of Dayton underwent more than $21 million in upgrades in 2016 and 2017. The hotel offers hundreds of rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space.

Renovations to the arena are scheduled to be completed in three phases. DeBolt said the renovations are currently on track.

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Phase two of renovation may be busiest

Those renovations are part of efforts throughout the area to support Dayton’s ability to host major events, like WGI.

DeBolt said his staff was in contact with WGI even before the renovations to discuss possible improvements and ways the competition venue could be better.

The WGI hosts indoor guard, wind and percussion activities and competitions across the nation and as far away as the Philippines. According to the organization’s website, there were more than 46,000 participants at the regional level of the organization in 2018.

» RELATED: One of Dayton’s biggest events staying at arena

The WGI had previously agreed to remain in Dayton until 2019.

“We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the City of Dayton and the surrounding Miami Valley area,” WGI Director of Operations Bart Woodley said.

Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Jacquelyn Powell said the event has a long history in Dayton.

“We are proud to say that WGI, and the WGI World Championships, have become a part of the fabric of our community,” Powell said. “WGI has hosted 32 out of their 41 World Championships in Dayton.”

The WGI’s world headquarters will also remain in Dayton.

Competition venues for the championships include UD Arena, Wright State University Nutter Center, the Dayton Convention Center, Hobart Arena, the Cintas Center at Xavier University, and the BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University.

WGI officials are hoping to host more events in and around Dayton in 2019 to avoid excessive travel times for participants. The World Championships have previously been spread out over two weekends, but the organization intends to debut more centralized championships with an extended schedule in 2019.

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