Taking a Last Look at the Sports Arena

EAST TOLEDO -- It's given Toledoans wonderful memories over some 60 years. It's been the venue for hockey games, circuses, skating events, concerts -- and more. And now, we have new details on the demolition of the old Sports Arena.

News 11's Jennifer Boresz talked to the superintendent of the demolition on Tuesday afternoon.

We first announced at noon that demolition will officially begin on the building Wednesday, Aug. 8. Now we're going to give you a sneak peek at what it takes to bring a building like this down to the ground.

Crews are stripping the inside of the old arena. The man in charge of demolishing the building understands it's very special.

"I think there's a lot of people who have a love for the building. They have a lot of memories -- whether it's hockey games or maybe some concerts," says Joe Zunk, Superintendent of the Lathrop Co.

Some Toledoans bought arena chairs to keep a piece of nostalgia. Other pieces are being recycled by the City of Toledo, including these dasher boards and glass. Even the concrete will be ground up and re-used in the Marina District.

Crews will begin removing asbestos Wednesday morning. "It's important to get all of that out before we do the demolition and disrupt any of that. You don't want any of those fibers or things floating through the air," Zunk says.

On August 8, demolition will begin. First crews will start cutting down the concrete structure inside the building. Then Zunk is expecting a crowd as they begin demolition on the outside.

"They'll be out there and probably people will take off work to do this or take a break from work to come down and watch them actually get started," he says.

But he says not to expect an implosion or a big puff of smoke.

"They will actually go around with their equipment and actually cut the concrete columns down in a way that will lower the roof by segment at a time," Zunk says.

So, this is it, your last chance to take a look inside. Because when crews begin abatement work on Wednesday, the doors will close to everyone -- forever.

Posted by KO