|Former names||The Saginaw County Event Center|
Saginaw Civic Center
|Location||303 Johnson Street|
Saginaw, Michigan 48607-1213
Indoor Football 5,201
|Construction cost||$17 million (renovation)|
($23.2 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||Wigen, Tincknell, Meyer & Associates, Inc.|
|Saginaw Gears (IHL) (1972–1983)|
Mid-Michigan Great Lakers (GBA) (1991–1992)
Saginaw Gears (UHL) (1994–1999)
Saginaw Spirit (OHL) (2002–present)
Saginaw Sting (CIFL/IFL/UIFL/AIF) (2008–2009, 2011–2015)
The Dow Event Center (formerly known as Saginaw County Event Center and Saginaw Civic Center) is an indoor arena located in Saginaw, Michigan. The center consists of several parts: The Atrium At The Dow Event Center, The Garden Room At The Dow Event Center, The Theater At The Dow Event Center, The Red Room At The Dow Event Center, Huntington Event Park and The Arena At The Dow Event Center. It currently houses the Ontario Hockey League's Saginaw Spirit. The facility has housed a number of hockey teams in the past, such as the Saginaw Lumber Kings and both the IHL and UHL incarnations of the Saginaw Gears.
The Arena At The Dow Event Center has a capacity of 7,600 people for concerts (without the ice), and 5,500 for hockey games. The Theater At The Dow Event Center has a capacity of 2,276 people.
Originally built in 1972 as part of an urban development program, the center is the only structure left. Most of the other buildings were razed in the 1980s due to many problems, including health risks, foreclosure and bankruptcy.
For a time in the 1990s, the facility nearly faced foreclosure and bankruptcy due to lack of funds provided by the city. The facility underwent a series of renovations in early 2000s, mainly in hopes for a better facility to host their newly acquired hockey team. The naming rights of the facility were transferred in September 2004 to The Dow Chemical Company, headquartered in nearby Midland. The center was used two times during the summer of 2004 as a center for Republican political rallies in support for the re-election of U.S. President George W. Bush.
Voters transferred the ownership from the City of Saginaw to Saginaw County on May 8, 2001. The city then closed the facility on June 30, 2001, and the county reopened it on July 1. The county then appointed SMG Worldwide to manage the facility, and started updating and renovating the building. The total cost of the renovations was tagged at $17 million, and they were completed in 2003.
The center hosts many events, concerts, political rallies, and graduations. Trade shows also take place there; the complex has 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of space at Wendler Arena.
Jehovah's Witnesses District Conventions are held annually at the Dow Event Center. Starting in mid-June, and ending in early July, three-day conventions held on every weekend in that time will occur. The Jehovah's Witnesses first started using the building in 2005, after rumors of demolition for the Pontiac Silverdome raised concern over where meetings would be held, as the Silverdome was the previous venue.
One of the fastest sellouts in Dow Event Center's history took place in 2011, when Katy Perry brought her California Dreams Tour to The Arena At The Dow Event Center. The concert was sold out in record time to the point that the only way to get to the concert was to win tickets on radio stations across the Flint/Tri-Cities region or, in the case of concertgoers in the Flint area, drive to Auburn Hills or East Lansing, Michigan, two other nearby stops of her tour.