Scrappers’ owner seeks stake in arena

City officials expect to have a management firm
in place by March 30.

YOUNGSTOWN — Two Mahoning Valley businessmen are joining a Philadelphia company in a proposal to manage the city’s Chevrolet Centre.

Palisades Baseball owner Alan Levin and Bruce Zoldan, owner of B.J. Alan Fireworks Co. Inc. and the Mahoning Valley Phantoms hockey team, are developing a joint marketing partnership with Global Spectrum of Philadelphia in Global’s efforts to manage the downtown center.

Palisades Baseball is the owner and operator of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Global Spectrum was one of three firms to submit proposals last year to run the center. It manages 68 facilities, including 31 arenas.

The other two companies to submit proposals are SMG, also of Philadelphia, which manages more than 100 arenas and stadiums; and Cavaliers Operating Co. of Cleveland and International Facilities Group of Chicago, which submitted a joint proposal.

The city plans to begin meetings with the companies that submitted proposals next week and expects to have a management firm in place by March 30.

“I am very pleased to be partnering with Bruce Zoldan and Global Spectrum in our efforts to make the Chevrolet Centre the successful centerpiece of the region’s entertainment and sports alternatives,” Levin said. “We believe that the involvement of Bruce and me and our respective organizations, which have consistently provided the community with a high quality of sports entertainment, with the broad base skills of Global Spectrum, will provide the formula for the long-term success of the Chevrolet Centre.”

John Page, chief operating officer of Global Spectrum, said that by forming a partnership with Levin and Zoldan, both of whom are well-established in Youngstown, the company immediately has a local presence that will provide “tremendous marketing and sales leverage, as we continue to seek management opportunities at the Chevy Centre.”

If the Global Spectrum-Levin-Zoldan group is selected to manage the Chevrolet Centre, it will mark the first time that local businessmen and sports entrepreneurs will play a role in the facility’s operation.

The city severed its relationship last October with Global Entertainment Corp. of Phoenix, which formerly managed the center. The city has been using JAC Management Group, headed by Eric Ryan, a Struthers concert promoter, as interim center director.