WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Denny Magruder has a lot of files to go through.
He’s in the middle of clearing out 36 years of WesBanco Arena souvenirs, during which time he built its legacy as an entertainment institution.
His retirement in October caps off his involvement with the complex from its very beginning in the mid-1970s.
Back then he worked for the city finance department, when they were trying to raise money for the future Wheeling Civic Center.
So I had the privilege of working on the bonds, when actually sold the original bonds and I worked for the city and got to participate in that.Denny Magruder, Executive Director, WesBanco Arena and Capitol Theatre
Whether it’s music, wrestling, hockey or bull riding, Denny has seen history pass through these doors since 1986.
In that time, he’s learned that even the biggest superstars are just like the rest of us.
A brief conversation with Denny revealed a wealth of stories.
Demolition derbies, presidential visits, and celebrities in their most down-to-earth moments.
One of the highest-profile events he remembers was in 1997, when rock musician Marilyn Manson passed through.
His image might have been shocking…but appearances aren’t always what they seem.
They were probably one of the friendliest, most cooperative tours that we had.Denny Magruder, Executive Director, WesBanco Arena and Capitol Theatre
He says the best part of his job are the amazing people he works with—and those in the office say the same thing about him.
You honestly could not imagine a better boss. Very family oriented, we feel like a family here. So it’s really easy to work with somebody who is as kind and generous as he is.Casey Biela, Events Manager
And I work with the best team in the world. I mean listen, these guys make me look a whole lot better than I really am.Denny Magruder, Executive Director, WesBanco Arena and Capitol Theatre
Denny says he doesn’t see his retirement as something to be sad about.
He’d rather look forward to the possibilities that new leadership will bring—and look back on his decades of bringing fun to the Friendly City.
I guess it’s a lifelong love affair.Denny Magruder, Executive Director, WesBanco Arena and Capitol Theatre