Hara Arena Update

About the time we all were leaving Hara Arena last year, organizers were putting up posters detailing the upgrades that would soon be made to the aging facility. But as it turned out, nothing was done. Problems financing the renovations arose almost as soon as they were announced. It’s a local government – owner of Hara Arena thing.

No updates, no upgrades, no significant improvements. There are even rumors that the wet Spring weather has inflicted even more damage. If you’ve been waiting for an update, there it is — as unofficial as it gets.

Despite this news, the 2016 show will be another great one for Hamvention. More than 25,000 visitors are expected and despite the facilities, Dayton is a place where radio, friends, and magic come together for one amazing long-weekend. Few will go home disappointed just because the bathrooms aren’t user friendly.

Best Deal at Dayton?

And you know what? Hamvention will go on, even if Hara Arena falls to the ground. And it will remain in Dayton. I say that because every year some slow thinker pontificates about how the show should be moved to another state.

I’ll leave it an exercise for the reader why the DAYTON Amateur Radio Association might not be interested in moving the DAYTON Hamvention to another state.

If you believe that DARA isn’t working on plans for a major transition in the very near future, you just don’t understand the scale of the event. It’s financial worth to the Dayton area is $15 million for one weekend in May and that’s just money. The global publicity for the region could be worth more than double that. Every year.

It’s a BIG deal and it won’t suddenly cease – even without the arena in Trotwood. I have ZERO “inside” information on this, but I think 2016 could be the final year for Hamvention at Hara Arena. But I have ZERO doubt that there will be a 2017 show in Dayton — and many years after that. It’s the biggest show on earth and the show must go on.

See you next week in Dayton!


Author: Jeff Davis


1 thought on “Hara Arena Update”

  1. Jeff,

    Very interesting commentary. Over the past several years, my interest in even going to Dayton has become almost nil. Now it seems the only reason I would even think about attending is to make eyeball QSOs with folks I haven’t seen in a while and I am finding as I get older, those folk either are SK or old enough not to want to make the trek. When you add the condition of Hara and the diminishing flea market, there just isn’t much to attract me.

    In fact, again this year, I will not be attending. Maybe next year…I’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.



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