Fear of Hamvention relocation prompts meeting

Published: Friday, October 02, 2015 @ 11:14 PM
Updated: Friday, October 02, 2015 @ 11:34 PM

The continuing fear that Dayton Hamvention could relocate from Hara Arena, the site the “destination for amateur radio” has called home since 1964, has Trotwood and Dayton area officials working to keep the event in the region.

The fear is so real, the Dayton/Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau has been working with city of Dayton staffers on a plan to ensure the world’s largest gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts remains in Montgomery County if relocation is necessary because of the arena’s financial problems.

Bureau President and CEO Jacqueline Powell said this isn’t the first year officials have considered options in case of a relocation.

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Hamvention has injected millions of dollars into the local economy every year it has been staged, but the arena’s financial struggles have been such that an Iowa-based consultant recently asked the city of Trotwood to buy the venue.

Trotwood officials rejected that idea. The arena’s owner said the facility is on better financial footing today.

The Hamvention board has no intention of leaving Hara Arena, said Jim Tiderman, general chairman of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, which hosts the event.

This month, Powell said, there is to be a meeting that includes representatives from the city of Dayton, Montgomery County, Dayton Convention Center and the convention and visitors bureau to present options to Hamvention organizers — if they need one.

Options, revealed in documents requested by Cox Media Group Ohio, include possibly staging the exhibits event in the convention center and flea market at Dave Hall Plaza in downtown Dayton, or using University of Dayton parking lots and Montgomery County Fairgrounds for the flea market.

Powell said Hamvention organizers have been presented with alternative site proposals in the past.

“As far as I know right now, their plans are to hold it at Hara,” she said.

Hamvention 2016 is scheduled for May 20 through 22.