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Sunday Sit-Down: Greater Wheeling Sports and Entertainment Authority Executive Director Dennis Magruder

April 21, 2013

- WesBanco Arena is nearing its 40th yea....

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Apr-21-13 8:38 AM

I guess it is a bit much to ever expect this elephant to ever pay it's own way. Is it the management? I know of one city about the same size as Wheeling been making a profit and was paid off from without coming back year after year for a hand out. Always a promise and always they hope you forget last year after last year. Like parking lots all Wheeling taxpayers do is pay and pay for these elephants. What time for another capitol study isn't it? Wheeling city management continue to spend long after the goose is dead. We pay for good management and get nothing in return. Same for the group that is supposed to promote Wheeling only promote their wage and like arena just spin wheels so you do not notice bottom line still only them wheeling their money home and You pay over and over and over etc..

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Apr-21-13 2:09 PM

" GREATER WHEELING SPORTS And ENTERTAINMENT" etc. etc. Great title.but what does he do? One thing, beg the tax payers for money. Wheeling Gov. is so full of people with fancy titles.What is the title of the guy who thinke he owns/runs the bike & walking trails?

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Apr-21-13 2:31 PM

If there is one valid criticism of this "forum" is that it is always negative with each contributor trying to impress each other with insults and snarky comments> In Magruder's case I have to give him the respect he has earned. This is one guy in city government who has given all and has been successful at it. I think he started out as a meter reader while attending college and eventually was in charge of that department. I don't recall him seeking the Civic Center job but he turned it around and has provided this area with an entertainment/sports outlet well beyond what we could expect. He has kept it going and given us what we want, not many officials have that kind of record. He has to be near retirement age and I shudder to think what this city administration will do when he does retire. The guy has done a great job for us and I say good job Dennis and thanks for all you have done.

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Apr-21-13 3:07 PM

Good article, and I think Dennis did a decent job of answering all their questions while trying to walk softly and be "politically correct" with some of his answers.

One of his comments was interesting when chatting about the Nailers organization: "We (Nailers) can't survive long term on the attendance levels we achieved this year." I agree, but why is no one looking at the ticket prices? This isn't Pittsburgh or Columbus - Many people in the Ohio Valley can't bring their families to many games considering the ticket prices they're charging. Why charge up to I think $22 per ticket, when they could knock those back to a much more reasonable cost and have a better chance of filling the arena each game - Plus make more money on parking, concessions, program sales, etc.

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Apr-21-13 7:35 PM

If the city had saved the money they have spent on "studies" and "plans" over the last 25 years, city coffers would be flush with cash now.

Unfortunately, Wheeling is what happens when you appoint people to leadership positions and those people think the world stops at Columbus and Pittsburgh.....

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Apr-22-13 8:37 AM

The intention of the Capitol renovation was to enhance Wheeling tourism.It has failed to do this.

The City and area is in steep decline.The goal was to bring in tourism dollars from elsewhere.JUSA did this.WSO does not.Shows for locals do not.

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Apr-22-13 8:38 AM

Oglebay is not the "private sector."

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Apr-22-13 2:41 PM

The facts are the capitol theater, the arena and the waterfront are all things that we want and need in the valley.

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Apr-22-13 6:21 PM

ovguy:The Hockey Team did ,and will, fail.They are the anchor for the Civic Center.The Capitol can not survive on just a few events/year and the WSO.The later is failing also.

The entire operation will collape in the next couple of years as the City declies to perhaps 20,000.

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Apr-22-13 6:25 PM

ugly:all this is fine, but they have to be paid for.How will that be done as Wheeling declines.Even the tables will be gone at WD soon.WD may close entirely going forward.The City is dying.

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Apr-22-13 8:14 PM

This is not about Dennis.He is doing the best possible job.The area is declining to the point the venues can not be supported by locals.The Capitol will have to be converted back to a tourism operation;not dependent on locals to survive.WD is losing its tourism appeal in a big way now.

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Apr-24-13 4:22 PM

I agree with you about tourism but to be honest with you their isn't much of a bus crowd so to speak anymore any where. People just don't want to ride around in buses anymore.The Capitol is doing OK. They are not in the red. they would be had a private corp[oration bought it with all the repairs needed. the city needed to buy that theater years ago and make it non profit. They failed and now you have a run down building in need of repair because private corporations only cared about taking the profit out of the theater. They didn't care about the employees or the area or the building. I do believe that it's finally on the right track. although not entirely non profit but close enough to get some historical grant money to repair it. The hockey team rents the arena.Wheeling doesn't pay the hockey team.The symphony is a non profit organization and they have always been supported by donations and sponsors.Even when they have surplus funds they spend it on free concerts.that's what they do

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