Covelli Centre (formerly Chevrolet Centre)
The Covelli Centre (formerly the Chevrolet Centre and during construction the Youngstown Convocation Center) is a 5,700-seat multi-purpose arena in Youngstown, Ohio, United States. It was built in 2005, thanks in a large part to a $26 million HUD redevelopment grant secured in 2000 by Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr. It is home to the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. The Covelli Centre is nicknamed The Chevy Centre/The Convo by most in the area as tribute to its former names (with the naming rights change, another popular nickname has yet to be determined).
The arena’s grand opening was on October 29, 2005, when it hosted a concert by 3 Doors Down. The first hockey game was played about a week later, on November 4.
In Fall 2007, the city hired Eric Ryan Productions of Struthers, OH to temporarily operate the arena until the city could find another company to manage the facility. SMG and Global Spectrum are the final two companies in the running to run the Chevrolet Centre. The Chevy Centre was formerly managed by the International Coliseums Company, a subsidiary of Global Entertainment, which owns the Central Hockey League. On Friday, April 4, 2008; the city of Youngstown signed a deal with Ticketmaster to become the official ticket provider of the Chevrolet Centre. The arena itself is owned by the city.
The arena, which was initially named the Convocation Center when it opened in October, was renamed a few weeks after its opening on Friday November 18, 2005, when General Motors acquired the naming rights, and was renamed the Chevrolet Center. Choosing Chevrolet for the naming rights was highly appropriate because one of the brand’s more successful cars, the Cobalt, is manufactured in nearby Lordstown, Ohio.
On October 4, 2008, it was announced that GM had decided not to renew their naming rights deal with the city. The city was in the process of negotiating with local Chevy dealers to keep the name of the facility the same. Currently, the city is talking to three organizations about a new naming rights deal. . On Wednesday, April 30, Covelli Enterprises (a local franchise of Panera Bread and O’Charley’s restaurants), signed a 3-year, $120,000 naming-rights deal, giving the Centre its current name (a complete signing switch is expected by June 1).
Starting in November 2008, the Mahoning Valley Phantoms of the North American Hockey League played select home games at the arena.