For a long time now there has been a proposal to build a new $110 million, 216,000-square-foot event center on five acres in the Arcadia Commons West area, near the corner of West Kalamazoo and South Westnedge avenues. It seems like plans are moving forward as Southwest Michigan First is going to ask the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners at its meeting on Tuesday, July 3, to place a food and beverage excise tax on the ballot in May 2019.  Funds that would be raised by the proposed tax would be used to repay a 30-year bond issued for the event center, as MLive reports.

According to documents received, the event center would hold approximately 6,000 seats for sporting events with an additional 2,000 for live events. No word yet on what sporting event would be held at the center, however, it does pose an issue as an $80 million administration building with a parking garage on the lot adjacent to the east, was being planned at 411 W. Kalamazoo Ave. That would cause a problem for the proposal, as that building would interfere with SWM First's location plan for the center.

County Administrator Tracie Moored said Southwest Michigan First would prefer to put the parking garage at 411 W. Kalamazoo Ave itself.

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