The Dow Event Center Facility History

The Saginaw Civic Center was built in 1972 by the City of Saginaw. The Civic Center was composed of three main parts: Wendler Arena, Heritage Theater,and Unity Hall.

Since 1972, the Center has served Saginaw County and the surrounding region as a first-class event venue. The Center has offered all County residents hundreds of entertainment, sport, cultural and educational opportunities annually.

In 2000, Spicer Engineering of Saginaw conducted an Engineering Study of the entire facility and the cost of repairs and maintenance for updating the facility was estimated. Estimates for repairs on the facility came in at $17 million and included repairs and enhancements to lighting, seating, restroom facilities, sound systems, roofing, and loading docks. They were also asked to present the costs associated with building a similar facility somewhere else within the County. It was estimated that it would take $69 million to build such a facility elsewhere. SMG was chosen as the management group to run the newly-dubbed County Event Center.

On June 30, 2001, the City of Saginaw closed the Saginaw Civic Center. The voters of Saginaw County decided on May 8, 2001, to reopen the facility on July 1, 2001, as the Saginaw County Event Center. SMG has managed the facility with the oversight of the Saginaw County Building Authority and an Event Center Advisory Group. The $850,000 subsidy was reduced by almost half in the first three years of operation.

The Garber Management Group purchased an Ontario Hockey League team in early 2002. The team was named the Saginaw Spirit and Wendler Arena became its new home. Over 30 home games are played by the Saginaw Spirit in Wendler Arena every year, adding another dimension to the Event Center.

Dow Chemical Company of Midland was awarded naming rights to the facility in September 2004. The agreement was mutually beneficial; Dow was able to support a worthy community endeavor and the Event Center was given an internationally recognized name to help draw performers and shows. All of these forces should keep The Dow Event Center a vital part of the Saginaw community for years to come.

ASM Global was formed in October 2019 from the merger of AEG Facilities , the global innovator in live entertainment venues, and SMG, the gold standard in event management. ASM Global is a venue management powerhouse that spans 5 continents, 14 countries and more than 300 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibit centers, and performing arts venues. As the world’s most trusted venue manager, ASM Global provides venue strategy and management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services. Among the venues in our portfolio are landmark facilities such as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, the Log Angeles Convention Center, Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Conference Centre in Shenzhen, China. ASM Global also offers food and beverage options through its concessions and catering companies.