Following a committee vote on Tuesday, a pitch for a new Augusta arena at the site of Regency Mall was sent to the city commission.
Discussions on the potential construction of a new arena in the Georgia city have revolved around the site of the vacant Regency Mall, particularly since an August vote by the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority to pursue the location. However, the location has become a point of contention among various officials, and was rejected by the city commission last month.
Some backers of the Regency Mall site have argued that a new there would provide an economic boost to south Augusta. Others, however, contend that the venue should be constructed downtown. On Tuesday, the city’s public services committee decided in a 4-0 vote to refer the plan to the full commission without a recommendation. At least one official does not expect the full commission to support the plan. More from The Augusta Chronicle:
“There is no better location, and the people on that side of town are really disappointed in their elected officials,” [Commissioner Marion] Williams said after Tuesday’s vote. “If we do something with some magnitude (at Regency) it’s going to change the whole city.”
Mayor Pro Tem Mary Davis, who opposes the Regency site but supported the committee motion, said it would have gone to the full commission regardless.
On the commission, “the support is still not there for the Regency site,” Davis said.
Williams’ motion includes settling on Regency as the preferred site, rather than a selection committee’s choice of downtown, and continuing negotiations with mall owner Cardinal Management to secure mall property on which to build an arena.
A new Augusta arena has been discussed as a replacement for James Brown Arena. Located downtown, James Brown Arena opened in 1980.
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