Renovation plans set the stage for revival of Bell Auditorium

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:44 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been about eight months since Richmond County voters struck down plans for a new James Brown Arena.

Now, plans are moving forward on renovations at its next-door neighbor, the Bell Auditorium.

The price tag for renovations at the Bell is nearly $900,000.

That money was approved at the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority’s meeting Tuesday.

“Instead of the money just sitting in the bank, well, actually be able to get something done to get us moving forward,” said Brad Usry, vice chairman of the authority.

The upgrade will include more room for concession stands, adding restrooms and updating the dressing and green rooms.

“The Premium Club at the Bell, which has been in the closet a dudgeon, I called it, will now be opened up larger and actually have a view out into the arena,” he said.

Usry says the auditorium has played a big part in downtown Augusta hosting six shows within the past month.

“What Augusta needs to know is the Bell as it exists now is the No. 1 venue outside of Atlanta for the state of Georgia,” Usry said.

Once the renovations are complete with the Bell Auditorium, authority officials will start to look toward what’s next for the James Brown Arena.

“This is going to be the best year the arena and complex has had ever,” Usry said.

The authority says once officials find a construction manager, work on the Bell should ger underway soon.

They also add the James Brown Arena will be open and hosting shows while the Bell Auditorium is closed getting that makeover.

That closure should be around 60 days.

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