Savannah, GA could tap Oak View Group to manage the Savannah Civic Center, potentially as part of a step toward operating a new arena.
Savannah is planning to construct a new arena that will effectively replace the aging civic center. Earlier this year, the city chose Oak View Group for a design-assist contract on the new arena. While negotiations to finalize that deal are still taking place, it is slated to be a phased agreement that includes operation and management of the facility once it opens.
Business between the two sides could expand to cover another facility, however, as city officials are exploring the idea of having Oak View Group assume management of the Savannah Civic Center. Several key leaders have departed the venue’s operational staff, so a new management firm could fill a void. It would also allow Oak View Group to bolster its presence in Savannah before the new arena opens, while also potentially drawing better events to the civic center over its final years.
The idea was discussed during a workshop for the board of alderman and mayor on Thursday. Nothing is finalized as of now, though there could be clarity on the situation later this month. More from the Savannah Morning News:
[City Chief of Municipal Operations Bret] Bell presented three options for aldermen to consider that included using OVG to manage the center and the arena, using OVG for the civic center management, or to advertise and hire a new director.
The consensus of the group was to have OVG manage both the arena and civic center.
Staff will continue talks with OVG and present an agreement to council soon.
“We hope by Aug. 15,” Bell said.
Ground is expected to be broken on the new arena next month. It is envisioned as an anchor of the larger Canal District development, a project project planned for an area west of downtown Savannah.
Image courtesy Savannah Civic Center.
RELATED STORIES: Savannah Arena Groundbreaking Ceremony Set for September; City Council Approves Borrowing $45M for Savannah Arena Project; $45M Could be Borrowed to Cover Savannah Arena Shortfall; After Controversy, Savannah Arena Management Deal Approved; Savannah Arena Design Concepts Unveiled; AECOM Hunt Tabbed as Savannah Arena Construction Manager; City Delays Savannah Arena Construction Manager Vote; Public Input Sought on Savannah Arena Design; Design Firm Selected for New Savannah Arena; Designer Sought for New Savannah Arena; Project Manager Selected for New Savannah Arena; Officials Detail Vision Behind Savannah Arena Plan; Savannah Moves Forward with Arena Plan; Savannah Looks for Arena Funding