The Columbus Sports Scene Blog

What’s New in Columbus?

Jan 18 Race-Car.BLOG

Columbus is a dynamic city that is known for its constant evolution. Here is a quick guide to the city’s most exciting additions:

Sport Pavilion & Automotive Research Complex (SPARC)
SPARC is set to become the new tenant of the site of former Cooper Stadium. The multi-use venue being developed by Arshot Investment Corporation will feature a half-mile paved race/test track with preserved grandstand seating and an automotive research and technical training center.  Columbus officials, Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Logan and Arshot Investment Corporation President Bill Schottenstein were on hand at a recent press conference at Experience Columbus to announce that Michael Waltrip Racing will partner with Arshot to serve as public ambassadors of SPARC.

The facility has plans to host several motorsport events, including motocross, rallycross, off-road racing, kart racing, electric vehicles, and late model stock cars, among others. Other sporting events being planned include X Games, BMX, cycling, rodeos and winter sports. Also finding a home at SPARC will be a racing school, as well as defensive driving courses. For more information vist

Covelli Arena
The Ohio State University athletics department will soon be expanding with its newest addition—the multi-purpose Covelli Arena. The 4,000-seat venue, which has an estimated cost of $25.5 million, will play host to volleyball, gymnastics, wrestling and fencing contests currently held at historic St. John Arena. The arena will also feature locker rooms, training rooms and offices.

Plans to break ground will commence in late 2014 or early 2015. Covelli Arena is planned to be situated in an athletic village at Ohio State that already features the Jerome Schottenstein Center and Bill Davis Stadium and will be located on the corner of Ackerman Road and Fred Taylor Drive. The project is made possible in large part to a $10 million gift from Covelli Enterprises Inc., the largest in the history of the athletics department.

Hilton Columbus Downtown
The Hilton Columbus Downtown became the newest addition to the downtown area this fall. The hotel, which features over 32,000 square feet of event space, is directly connected to the Greater Columbus Convention Center via a spectacular glass sky bridge. The hotel also features an eclectic art collection, which includes over 150 original pieces by Central Ohio artists.

The hotel includes 532 guest rooms including 48 suites and each room features a 42-inch HD television, high-speed internet access and an in-room safe. Over 300 dining and entertainment venues are within walking distance of the Hilton. It is positioned between the Arena District, the Short North Arts District and downtown Columbus, with The Ohio State University and German Village only short drives away. For more information visit

Hollywood Casino
Hollywood Casino Columbus, the largest in gambling venue in Ohio, officially opened its doors this fall. Penn National Gaming Inc.’s $400 million casino, located on the city’s west side, attracted a crowd of 25,000 on its opening day.

The first Las Vegas-style casino in Central Ohio is open 24/7. Employing over 2,000 workers, the casino features more than 3,000 slot machines and 100 table games including 30 for poker, which is the most table games of any venue in the state. Hollywood Casino also offers a range of dining experiences, from laid-back casual to first-class refined restaurants.

It is located just off I-270 on Georgesville Road, only minutes from downtown Columbus. For more information visit


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