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SRC Arena adds to a growing list of venues

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: SRC Arena adds to a growing list of venues
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The celebration surrounding Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena is barely over and already there's concern the venue may be taking needed events away from other spaces. Our Kat De Maria looks into the issue.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena is the newest piece of a puzzle of spaces and venues in the Syracuse area vying, and in some cases competing, for business.

"The SRC arena opening up at OCC does add to what we're able to offer as a community, kind of gets us back on track with some of the athletic events Syracuse has been able to host over the past number of years," said Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau President David Holder.

Holder says track and field and other competitions that used to take place at Manley Field House can return to the area. But SRC is already diversifying, booking events including a couple traditionally held at the Oncenter.

"We definitely stand firm in the direction we've moved in the past two-and-a-half years, quality of service, food and beverage and we hope they return as our guests," said Oncenter Sales Manager Sean O'Key.

The Oncenter comprises the convention center, for large trade and other shows, the War Memorial, home of the Syracuse Crunch and Silver Knights and the Civic Center theatres, which host performing groups like the Syracuse Opera and City Ballet. It's for Broadway shows, concerts, dinners and other events where they, SRC Arena and other venues overlap.

"There are going to be areas where they do start to bump into each other once in awhile," Holder said.

Another piece of the venue puzzle is the Landmark Theatre, which recently reopened as one more choice for big or small shows coming to the area.

"Whether it's Civic Center Theatre, Landmark Theatre, even War Memorial, Carrier Dome, SRC Arena fit into that in some capacity, we have to make sure we're maximizing the opportunities that are there without over saturating our community. We just have to be smart about what we bring in here and where is the best place for it to go," Holder said.

Holder says he's going to be taking a broad look at all of the area's spaces, including the New York State Fairgrounds. Meanwhile, O'Key says he's not concerned about the competition.

"I think between soccer, hockey, our professional theatre performances, as well as our upcoming conferences and conventions, we're looking forward to a strong finish to 2011 and moving into 2012," O'Key said.

The Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau will be conducting a full market analysis next year to determine the best way to market the area's various venues.

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