In Augusta, GA, talks of a new arena have been sparked by the latest report on the operations of the James Brown Arena.
The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority has been arguing for a new indoor venue in the city. Such a facility could replace James Brown Arena–which first opened in 1980–as Augusta’s primary host for indoor events and performances.
Talks have been ongoing for some time, with a report that was commissioned last year calling for a $100 million investment that includes a 10,000-seat arena. While the report has not led to decisive action, new arena backers are once again bringing up the possibility.
The case for supporters? The success of James Brown Arena. Spectra by Comcast Spectacor has established a solid track at James Brown Arena, a recent run that includes three straight years of reduced operation deficits. At this point, both the Authority and Spectra agree that a new arena would not only continue this success, but enhance Augusta’s viability when it comes to attracting major events. More from The Augusta Chronicle:
“When all three of Spectra’s divisions work together, we can operate more seamlessly for our clients and drive profitable growth for their facilities and businesses,” said Spectra’s Chris Bird, the general manager for the complex.
The arrangement works well and Spectra’s success backs the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority’s continued push to build a new arena, board Chairman Cedric Johnson said.
“Bringing in Spectra has saved us $2.9 million over the last eight years,” he said. “Our venue operating deficit has decreased from $1,184,112 in fiscal year 2009 to $528,657 in fiscal year 2016. This is a 55 percent reduction in the deficit since fiscal year 2009.”
Previous plans have called for a new arena, should it be built, to be located in downtown Augusta and carry on the tribute to James Brown.