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FirstMerit Bank Event Park Facility History

SMG-The Dow Event Center Announces Pavilion Project
To Revitalize Downtown Saginaw

February 7, 2013 (Saginaw, Michigan) Matt Blasy, General Manager of The Dow Event Center, a SMG managed facility announce today at a press conference along with Saginaw County & Great Lakes Bay Region Convention & Visitors Bureau plans are in place to develop an outdoor event venue in the 300 block of Downtown Saginaw, where the Saginaw Center once stood. The venue, which will include a Pavilion, a main stage and a grassy area, as well as 225 parking spaces (400 block), has been designed to attract a wide range of events and draw people to Downtown Saginaw.

Blasy said “We are extremely excited about this new plan for the old Saginaw Center space. The ability to attract events to this location will have much more of a positive impact on downtown Saginaw and the Great Lakes Bay Region.”

Pavilion will be along Franklin Street facing east. This location will utilizes existing structural columns from the Saginaw Center, allows optimal sightlines and audio capabilities for the Main Stage and allows the potential to utilize adjacent Parking Lot for additional space and concert capacity.

The Pavilion will provide a safe and economical place in the community for people of all ages and scopes from around the region to gather for a wide variety of events. Not only will this benefit the ‘sense of community’ feeling in Downtown Saginaw, but it will also contribute to increased economic growth in the area.

While the removal of the Hotel and Saginaw Center is a positive change for the Region, the original plan to add 500 parking spaces will have minimal economic impact, especially for the organizations investing in the demolition of the buildings. Because the main costs involved in this project are the set-up (construction), the annual operating expenses remain very low, which is an inexpensive and sustainable solution for a community, such as Saginaw, that is looking to promote their area.

“We are very excited about the plan that has come together on the Saginaw Center property. This is a wonderful opportunity to further develop downtown Saginaw and attract people to the Great Lakes Bay Region." Said Annette Rummel, CEO of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau, "Based on the overall economic impact The Dow Event Center currently has on the Region, we are confident this  project will attract events resulting in overnight stays in area hotels."

Existing funding from the overall construction project will be available to build the site. The dollars available to originally build a parking lot will be utilized to construct the site including the grass area, concrete slabs, landscaping, irrigation system, and lighting.Additional funding is still needed to construct the Pavilion. Funding to build the Pavilion is being estimated at $1.275. This level of funding will help create a ‘wow’ factor in Downtown Saginaw with a first class venue. Additional funding will be secured through Grants, Foundations, and Sponsorships including a Naming Rights sponsor for the venue.“Based on initial discussions we are confident that this project will get the additional support required to make it happen. The combination of developing downtown with a sustainable project and improving the ‘quality of life’ in the Great Lakes Bay Region is something we feel everyone will get behind.” said Blasy.

Construction will begin in early spring to build the site which includes grass, concrete, irrigation system, and lighting. The goal is to complete Pavilion construction by the fall targeting early fall outdoor events. The objective for the Pavilion and Outdoor Venue will be to create a space that people can meet collectively for various events, performances, festivals, markets, etc. while enhancing the experience in Downtown Saginaw.

“SMG is very excited about this opportunity to bring outdoor events downtown. It gives us the ability to schedule events year round. We have a lot of exciting ideas for this venue already.” Blasy said “With all of the positive things that are happening downtown, we feel this outdoor venue will play a major role in continuing to build on this momentum.”

Blasy continued “Other organizations such as PRIDE’s Friday Night Live have proven outdoor events can be successful downtown. We are looking to take it to the next level in terms of what we can do in this space as well as focus on the necessary safety precautions. We are confident with the history of downtown events and SMG’s experience in hosting events, this will be a fun and safe environment for everyone involved.”

SMG Awards FirstMerit Bank Naming Rights For Event Park

May 2, 2013 (Saginaw, Michigan)  SMG announces that it has awarded naming rights to the Event Park now under construction to FirstMerit Bank.  The FirstMerit Event Park is scheduled to open mid-August of this year.

The 5,500-seat FirstMerit Event Park will provide both pavilion and lawn seating for a variety of events meant to enrich the Great Lakes Bay Region. Already scheduled are such events as the second annual Wonderfest on August 24, 2013, and Fall In for Arts and Sol on September 28. FirstMerit has naming rights for the next five years.

“FirstMerit is proud to be associated with this great new venue,” said Todd Gregory, Saginaw Community President and Regional President, Core Business Banking for FirstMerit. “The FirstMerit name is new to Michigan following the acquisition of Citizens Bank and this is a wonderful way to show that FirstMerit is as committed to our communities as Citizens was. We look forward to seeing our neighbors and business partners at the many exciting events to be held at FirstMerit Event Park in the years to come.”

“We are very excited to announce a naming rights partnership for the new outdoor venue with FirstMerit Bank,” said Matt Blasy, SMG General Manager “this project continues to move forward with tremendous support from the community.  To be able to call it

FirstMerit Event Park adds instant credibility to the venue, both within the Great Lakes Bay Region and our effort to secure events.”

About SMG

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. For more information visit www.smgworld.com

About FirstMerit

FirstMerit Corporation is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Akron, Ohio, with assets of approximately $24.5 billion as of close of business April 12, 2013, and 415 banking offices and 452 ATM locations in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Pennsylvania. FirstMerit provides a complete range of banking and other financial services to consumers and businesses through its core operations. Principal affiliates include: FirstMerit Bank, N.A., FirstMerit Mortgage Corporation, FirstMerit Title Agency, Ltd., and FirstMerit Community Development Corporation.


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