Ice is an issue for future of new arena


AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Right now we’re looking at a $235million new James Brown Arena and to make this a reality Augusta will have to vote itself a sizable property tax increase, but some would like to see this arena cost more to put things on ice.  

It would be a state-of-the-art entertainment center, but the current plans for a new arena are leaving some cold. 

“A lot of people have been reaching out to me about hockey. I just think we need to make sure we have that conversation to see if this is a hockey community, with the changing dynamics of cyber…just want to make sure we have that conversation,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.  

Right now, hockey is not in the conversation for a new James Brown Arena.

The Coliseum Authority did not support spending $4 million dollars on ice making equipment to allow for a hockey team. 

 “We did have our study done. And the study said right now Augusta won’t support hockey,” said Coliseum Authority Chairman Cedric Johnson.  

But those pushing hockey say it brought out a lot of fans in the past and there’s a new team interested in the new arena.  

“We’ve got another ownership group that is as good or better than that ownership group and they’re committed to hockey, and they got a track record,” said Steve Munn, who played for the Augusta Lynx. 

Augusta commissioners got an update on the arena this week, and some are in support of spending more for ice.  

“Our arena is going to be built, not just for now but for the future, so if we have to put some things in to accommodate hockey or some other sport…basketball what have you, I really think it needs to be done,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams. 

The vote on the bond referendum on the new arena is scheduled for November 2nd. What is not known right now is whether a decision will be made on putting in the ice before then.

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