Augusta Coliseum Authority considers bringing in management company

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, March 11, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---And so the talk begins. Flash Gordon was fired Friday, and now the Augusta Aoliseum authority is looking to chart a new course. The debate: manager or management company?

A noticeably empty seat at Tuesday's special called Coliseum Authority meeting. Former general manager Flash Gordon is taking a different seat these days...out in the audience.

"It was kinda sad for me because I wish he had been sitting in this seat," said Linda Roberts who will serve as interim general manager. "I know this venue can be successful, and I'm here to make that happen," said Linda. But, she is only temporary. What next?

"My preference right now is a management company," said Harry Moore who is chair of the coliseum authority. Just a few miles down the road...Jennifer Kelly is general manager at the USC Aiken Convocation Center. It's under a management company. But is it the right direction for the James Brown Arena?

"I really can't say whether that's the best option for them or not, but it seems to be working for us here in Aiken," said Jennifer.

The USC Aiken Convocation Center has been open for less than a year under a management company, and it has sold-out 8 of about 12 shows. The last management company at the James Brown Arena opted out of their contract.

"We've formed a committee that is going to investigate what is going to be best for this venue," said Keith Brown. He will serve on that committee. The committee will make the recommendation---manager or management company. "There are a lot of advantages with it...what we have to do... as we look at the taxpayer's money... is and how we spend it...what are the disadvantages?"

The least $200,000 a year for a management company. Jennifer says it's worth it. "It's a big network with buildings and promoters and it's a whole different world, and that's just what we deal with day in and day out."

There are 4 board members on the committee along with the interim general manager. They will meet for the first time on Tuesday of next week at 9 A.M.

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