Future arena full of glass and sass -- check out pics!

TOLEDO --  Drawings of the new downtown Toledo arena indicate there'll be lots of glass, an Art Tatum sculpture, a garden and more.

Lucas County Commissioners did a design roll-out at SeaGate Centre Wednesday morning, at which Commissioner Pete Gerken said the project will cost Lucas County about $105 million. That's around $20 million higher than original estimates in the planning phase.

But the price tag does nothing to dissuade the enthusiasm of those behind the project.

"I love the space and the ability to get where you want to be inside the building, but I also like that it's good-looking and that it uses glass and... great features to make it something that looks just as good inside as outside," said Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Lucas County Commissioner.

Construction is well underway to build the multi-purpose facility at the corner of Huron and Jefferson.

News 11's Rob Wiercinski reported live from the site of the new arena.

In the Fall of 2009, images of the new arena's exterior include the Superior Street Plaza with a sculpture honoring jazz legend Art Tatum. Drawings show what it will look like to fans entering the main concourse and from the club level.

Local hockey fans are excited for the puck to drop next year. JOhn Gage tells News 11, "I didn't mind the sports arena. It was small and intimate. The experience was very exciting because you were so close. They seem to be trying to do that, and that's very important."

Allesha Jeffries tells us, "I remember going to lots of things at the sports arena from circus to motorcross to hockey games, and it makes great memories for children. So it'll be good."

During the design unveiling, Lucas County officials announced the $105 million dollar building price. It's higher than the projected price due to new features, including making it an eco-friendly facility.

Comissioner Gerken says, "We wanted to be committed to glass and green. Obviously green sometimes cost more up front but pays dividends on the back end. We accepted that risk. The features like the beer garden and the club level outside cost a little more."

Gerken says the current funding formula will cover the tab. "This is not a price runaway on us at all. We managed this fairly well and it'll pay for itself."

Posted by LS