Arena Pre-Construction Work Underway
The Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Brooks Family, owners of the Flyers AAA minor league hockey team, the Phantoms, announced they have executed the master lease for the Multi-Purpose Community Arena being built in downtown Allentown. Under the master lease, an Authority of the City (currently ACIDA) will own the Multi-Purpose Community Arena and the Brooks will operate the facility.
The Brooks will bring the Phantoms back to Pennsylvania as the arena’s main tenant and are also considering other potential indoor sports teams as tenants. In addition to the Phantoms home games, the Arena will also host concerts, family shows, other sporting events, conferences and trade shows, meetings, musical and stage performances and other events.
Said Jim Brooks, “While this signing marks a significant step in the process, it’s really only the beginning of a great, long partnership between the City and us, and for the continued development of Allentown.”
The modern, state of the art Multi-Purpose Community Arena will serve as the catalyst to the master planned redevelopment of downtown Allentown. The arena is at the heart of the 130 acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) and it is estimated that the arena will bring over 120 events and over 400,000 people to downtown each year.
“This is about so much more than just hockey, this is about a vision to grow the downtown core,” added Rob Brooks. “In the past 6 years working on this project, there hasn’t been a more exciting time than now.”
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski agrees. “We are already seeing how the NIZ and Arena as its catalyst are working. Several other private investments have already been made in downtown and jobs added since this project has begun. I believe we are merely seeing the tip of the iceberg, as it relates to investment and jobs coming to downtown Allentown.”
The Phantoms are currently playing in upstate New York. After buying the team 3 years ago, rather than keeping the team on the sidelines, the Brooks set out on the mission to grow hockey in the USA by agreeing to help the Glens Falls/Saratoga/Adirondack region put together a financial model to keep pro hockey after the Phantoms arena is built in Allentown. The Brooks have met with and will continue to discuss several options for secondary and tertiary tenants for the arena, such as NBDL (the NBA’s development league), indoor soccer, indoor lacrosse, and indoor football.