Support for current site for new arena

CSRA News

It’s now seen as the leading site for a new James Brown Arena, the current location downtown.

“Two of our Authority members have committed to downtown and are ready to change their vote I look forward having at least a four to two vote next week and get moving on the current site,” said Authority Vice Chairman Brad Usry.

The Authority has been at an impasse for months, but after Augusta Commissioners talked about removing members who did not support the downtown location, Mayor Davis sent a letter the Coliseum Authority urging them to rally behind the downtown location.

“I was a little bit surprised we appreciate the letter I think it will help us move forward,” said Usry.

Mayor Davis had been leading the charge for Regency Mall as the site for a new arena for two years, city leaders say that has cost the community when it comes to a new entertainment complex.

“What’s been lost in that two years?”

“Time, money, I think we have a fractured community still you know we’re going to have to go back to the community to get community buy in to pay for this a new arena it’s going to be a tough sell,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom.

And while momentum is now with the current site, back in October the MCG Foundation pushed another location for the arena.

City leaders say the Foundation’s plan has a new arena in the 15th Street area of Walton Way.

However under this proposal the Peabody Apartments would have to be re-located as would Augusta Fire Station number 2.

“Not willing to have the foundation plan there’s too many moving parts parking decks, moving fire stations things we don’t need to do as a city and the main thing is time,” said Frantom.

Next Tuesday’s Coliseum Authority meeting is calling for a discussion of the Mayor’s letter as well as the commission removal discussions.

Vice Chairman Usry says the Authority will likely approve moving forward with an already paid for consultants study of the current location that will include renderings computer fly overs as well organizing public forums to build support for a new JBA at the current location.

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