SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan today released $5 million in Illinois FIRST funds to begin construction of a new multi-purpose arena on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, a facility that will be designed to host a wide variety of events in Southern Illinois.
“This new arena will be a tremendous addition to the fairgrounds and a tremendous economic benefit to DuQuoin and Perry County,” Ryan said. “It’s just one part of the significant strides my administration has made over the last four years to help improve the economy and the quality of life in Southern Illinois, as well as the vitality of the DuQuoin State Fair.”
The multi-purpose arena will cost $13 million, containing approximately 96,000 square feet of space and seating for 4,700 people. Plans also include parking for 1,000 vehicles, office and storage space, restrooms and concessions.
It is expected that the new arena will host community and sports events, as well as shows and exhibitions associated with the DuQuoin State Fair. Construction bids on the new arena will be awarded in December. The project is to be completed in the summer of 2004.
Over the last four years, Governor Ryan has invested in the future of Illinois’ two state fairgrounds. In DuQuoin, the multi-purpose arena and the renovated horse show arena and racetrack grandstand create more versatility. In Springfield, the multi-purpose outdoor arena, completed in 2000, has widened the scope of events hosted by the State Fairgrounds.
Illinois FIRST funds for the construction of this project are generated through the sale of state bonds. By law, proceeds from the sale of bonds cannot be used for general state operations.