Management deal up for grabs at Augusta Entertainment Complex

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Barnum and Bailey Circus is in town and opening night is on Thursday. Time could be running out for the company managing the Augusta Entertainment Complex.

Global Spectrum currently has that contract, but coliseum board members could be looking for other companies. The mats are out and lights are lit while the final screws are being put into place.

"What's cool about our show is that it's a one-ring circus. You get personal interactive experience with our acts," said Ringmaster David Shipman.

He's the ringmaster for the 143rd Ringley Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. Tickets are selling because people want to see the show.

"Like the high wire, the juggling and the classic Barnum and Bailey elephants," Shipman said.

Global Spectrum has been overseeing the Augusta Entertainment Complex for five years. Recently, coliseum board members put the contract out for bid.

"We feel like they have done an excellent job in the five years they've been here," said Coliseum Authority Chairman Cedric Johnson.

He's right. Global Spectrum says they sold out more than 30 shows, held 600 events and grossed nearly $30 million.

"Global has done an excellent job. They have been very efficient and effective at making sure we had acts that all people would come to," Johnson said.

Global employs nearly 30 to 35 full-time employees. Those workers' employment hangs in the balance if the company doesn't win the bid.

"If another company was successful at getting the bid, that is a possibility," Johnson said.

Johnson says his members are just trying to get the best deal for taxpayers.

"We want to make sure everybody understands this has nothing to do with the performance Global has done for us," Johnson said.


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