Can First Arena and the Clemens Center co-exist as concert venues in Elmira?

Local News
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ELMRIA, N.Y. (WETM) — As the calendar turns to 2022, downtown Elmira will play host to major events at two large entertainment facilities. On Wednesday, Tadross Donner Sports and Entertainment announced their new plan for First Arena, but some question how and if they will work with the Clemens Center.

Less than a quarter of a mile lies between the two entertainment hubs, but local economic experts say this downtown development will benefit both parties. Clemens Center Executive Director Karen Cromer says she is excited to communicate and collaborate with her new neighbors.

“I’m very glad to see that happening. I’m excited to meet the new owners, start a relationship and start a conversation to see where we can go from here,” Cromer added.

By bringing more events downtown, economic experts hope retail businesses and restaurants will follow. They say residents can expect more businesses to emerge around both First Arena and the Clemens Center.

“It allows for our community to be a destination for other visitors and for people to come and discover Chemung County and the City of Elmira,” Jennifer Herrick-McGonigal, CEO of Chemung County Chamber of Commerce, continued.

Both venues offer different styles of entertainment with the Clemens Center focusing on performances and theater while First Arena will play host to sports, concerts and shows. 18 News spoke with Steve Donner in an exclusive sit-down interview where he said he looks forward to working with the entire community.

“Steve Donner wants to make sure as they come into this area they work in partnership with every group and that would also include the Clemons Center. We’ll sit down with them as well to make sure both venues are working properly and supported properly by the community,” CCIDA Executive Director Joe Roman said.

The Clemens Center is hopeful and encouraged to work alongside Tadross Donner Sports and Entertainment to form a long lasting partnership that benefits both venues.

“The more the merrier because what they do is very different from what we do. I don’t have hockey,” Cromer added. “We may crossover a little bit and I think that’s a reason for us to communicate. It’s complimentary more than competitive.”

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