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Augusta Meets with Arena Design Firms

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For the next step in the process of planning a new arena in Augusta, GA, officials are considering proposals from four different design firms.

The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority has been among the leaders in making the case for a new downtown arena, which would replace the James Brown Arena as the city’s primary indoor venue. Part of the case that the authority, along with James Brown Arena operator Spectra, is making is that the success of the current facility–which we covered last month–could be built upon with a new venue.

To begin the design process, the authority is considering bids from four firms: RosserStadium Consultants InternationalAECOM, and Sink Combs Dethlefts. AECOM previously conducted a feasibility study in Augusta, outlining how the city could support a 10,000-seat arena in its downtown.

Authority officials and New Arena committee members are looking at locations, but the exact spot–along with a precise cost–still needs to be determined. More from the Augusta Chronicle:

Brad Usry, chairman of the New Arena Committee and vice chairman of the coliseum authority, said officials were “committed to downtown” for the new arena’s location. Of four unnamed locations, one is being eyed “more and more,” while a riverfront location such as the former Golf and Gardens property is probably not feasible, Usry said.

The arena committee reviewing proposals Monday included two members from outside the coliseum authority – City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson and businessman Henry Ingram – although Ingram did not attend the meeting.

Jackson said all four firms “could do a credible job with the task at hand” and brought adequate technical expertise to the task.

“My most important consideration is vision,” she said. “My preference will be one that can recommend a location and a facility which positions Augusta for economic development, revitalization and revenue enhancement.”

James Brown Arena first opened in 1980.

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