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Augusta Slowing Down Arena Pursuit

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Though they are still seeking a new venue, officials in Augusta, GA seem to have slowed down their effort to replace James Brown Arena

The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority has been studying its options for a new venue, as James Brown Arena opened in 1980 and some believe the city would support a more modern arena. That effort has been taking place for some time, and it seemed earlier this year that a major development could occur in the near future.

In January, officials indicated that they could weeks away from selecting a site. However, no announcement has ever been made, and authority chairman Cedric Johnson said this week that the group wants to do its due diligence before going too far in the process. More from The Augusta Chronicle:

Then, after a lengthy closed-door session in January to review five potential sites – all of them in or around downtown – Johnson said the authority would name its preferred location within a few weeks.

Since that meeting, however, the architects have advised the group to slow down, to allow time for proper due diligence and preparation needed to best present the project to the public, he said.

“We want it done right,” Johnson said. “You’ve got to have something to show people (a) good presentation.”

He said the group hasn’t ruled out options such as a referendum on the arena’s funding or working with an outside entity, such as Augusta University.

“We’re looking at a lot of different ways and options,” Johnson said. “It’s a community effort in getting this done.”

In January, it was reported that the five sites under consideration were either in or near downtown Augusta.

RELATED STORIES: Augusta Close to Selecting New Arena SiteAugusta Meets with Arena Design Firms; James Brown Arena’s Success Fuels New Arena Talks