TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – While historic Hara Arena may no longer be the event and concert venue Miami Valley residents once knew, community members may not have seen the last of the building.
Partner at Tax Redevelopment LLC and owner of Hara Arena, Cory Heitz, said he decided to auction off the letters from the building’s sign after getting numerous requests from people wanting memorabilia.
“We didn’t know really the fair way to kind of sell that to an entity, so we decided, hey, why don’t we just put [them] up for auction,” he said. “Let all these entities, do it fair and square through the auction process.”
Heitz said the company initially tried to salvage seats from the building, but they were destroyed by mold from last year’s tornadoes. When that didn’t work, he said the letters on the exterior of the building were a great alternative to carry on Hara’s nostalgic legacy.
“Everyone we talked to in the city of Dayton has a Hara Arena story, whether it’s from the first concert they went to, whether it’s playing sports there [or] whether it was seeing a car show,” Heitz explained. “So we knew there was a lot of cultural importance of Hara.”
Even though the venue, which has been a staple in the City of Trotwood since the 60s, will no longer be in use the way it has been over the last four decades, Heitz said he wanted the building to continue benefiting community members there, with money raised during the auction being distributed through the African American Community Fund.
“We’ve been in communication with them, and whatever money they raise, they’re going to divvy it up within the Trotwood community and try to help the folks where Hara Arena is actually based.”
Heitz said organizations across the country have expressed interest in the sign. His company has even reached out to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the NHL Hall of Fame to expand interest in organizations that would potentially want to acquire the letters. The bidding started today at $2,500 and will continue through Monday of next week. The link to bid can be found here.
Heitz said community members who cannot bid on the sign should be on the lookout for an upcoming brick sale.