One immediate reaction to marketer Bruce Rowley’s idea that there be an Arena District with a new logo – which he created – was: Hey, isn’t there already an arena district?
There is, says Jason Gregory, executive vice president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.
The city’s master planning process identified an Arena District from about Main Street to the railroad tracks and south of Douglas to Waterman.
“It’s a smaller area that’s directly impacted by the arena,” Gregory says.
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Rowley’s district, as he sees it, is bounded by Douglas on the north, Kellogg on the south, Washington to the east and Emporia to the west.
Some of his area is what the master plan calls Old Town South.
“Do I think that that’s a great name?” Gregory says. “Probably not.”
He says districts and their names are kind of fluid things.
For instance, he says people’s definitions of what constitutes Old Town vary.
“You ask 10 people, you’re going to get 10 different answers.”
Gregory says it’s fine if Rowley or anyone else wants to identify a certain area in one way.
“Typically, it’s just kind of an underground thing that just kind of bubbles up,” he says.
“For me to weigh in and say this is right or wrong, I don’t think that’s our place,” Gregory says. “Obviously, I think it’s a public conversation.”
He says it makes sense, though, to name the area for the arena.
“I don’t think it’s going anywhere.”
Gregory says he likes it when people show an interest in something like this.
“I appreciate Bruce being proactive with this,” he says. “It’s then up to the public to determine where it goes next.”