With discussions still continuing about a potential replacement for James Brown Arena, officials have been debating the merits of two sites. One is the site of the current arena in downtown Augusta, while the other is the Regency Mall property in south Augusta.
Democratic and Republican primary ballots on Tuesday included nonbinding questions concerning the arena site–one yes-or-no question asking if officials should back the current location, and another asking if they should support the Regency Mall site. Across the two ballots, the yes vote for the downtown site came out ahead. More from The Augusta Chronicle:
Between the two ballots, some 17,343 of 30,445 total votes cast – 57 percent – answered yes to a question posed by the Augusta Commission on whether the city should select the current James Brown Arena site as the location for a new arena, or the blighted mall property.
Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority Vice Chairman Brad Usry, who championed the downtown location and headed a ballot committee, Friends of the James Brown Arena Downtown, celebrated the outcome.
“This result is what is best for all of Augusta,” Usry said. “I look forward to working with the Coliseum Authority and (arena architect) Sink Combs to design an arena Augusta deserves and will be proud of.”
The second-highest vote total, 15,537, among the four questions was a “no” to selecting Regency as the site, while 12,987 said “yes.” Another 11,039 answered “no” to building downtown.
Those questions were nonbinding, so officials are not legally bound to follow the results. It also does not commit officials to a new arena, as the site, funding, and other plans will have to take shape. A venue would replace James Brown Arena, which originally opened in 1980.
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