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Global Spectrum brings 11 sold-out shows

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During its second year managing the Augusta Entertainment Complex, Global Spectrum brought 11 sold-out performances to the stages of James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium, and the chairman of Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority couldn't be prouder.

MORE INFORMATION

Read more about the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority here

Global Spectrum's Web site

"In Augusta's history, I don't think we've had that many shows to sell out," Cedric Johnson said Tuesday.

Two Lady Antebellum concerts on Nov. 15 -- a lunchtime acoustic performance at Bell Auditorium and an evening show at James Brown Arena -- sold out in minutes. That left some fans wishing more performances by the band, which includes two members who grew up in Columbia County, had been scheduled.

Johnson, speaking at an authority board meeting Tuesday, said Global Spectrum's sold-out shows prompt more acts to come to Augusta, and General Manager Monty Jones revealed that Global Spectrum was already expecting to fill James Brown Arena with the return of Winter Jam and a Keith Urban concert Aug. 13.

Ticket sales, measured over the authority's fiscal year ending June 30, are down from fiscal 2009.

From August 2008, when Global Spectrum took over management of the venues, through the following June, 386,077 tickets to 85 events were sold; from July 1, 2009, through the following June, 323,678 tickets to 142 events were sold.

Both numbers are a far cry from the year before Global Spectrum's arrival, when a beleaguered former authority board managed the venues and sold 207,700 tickets, a number that included admissions to Augusta Lynx hockey and Augusta Colts indoor football games. Both teams shut down operations in 2008.

Jones said the 2010 numbers were good, considering current economic conditions and the Augusta market, which is less willing to pay top dollar to see pricey shows whose tickets might run close to $100 each.

"Looking at the industry as a whole, there's not that much touring going on right now," he said.

Global Spectrum's performance during the past fiscal year warranted its Monday award of $131,000 in incentive pay.

Last year, the board haggled with the company over the amount to award because of what Johnson said were "gray areas" in the formula used to calculate the incentive.

The board eventually agreed to $90,000 in incentive pay, and this year its calculation, based on ticket sales and total gross revenues, and subject to a recently completed audit, put the total at $131,000, Johnson said.

He said he was proud of the involvement Global Spectrum has in the community, including its sponsorship of the upcoming James Brown toy drive and the Augusta RiverHawks' participation in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition television program.

His proudest moment, though, was after the Earth, Wind and Fire concert July 1.

"I had many people call me about the concert, just to tell me how much they really enjoyed it," he said. "It was probably as diverse as you could have at a concert, and people had a really good time, and that's what I really like."

The authority is reviewing proposals received last week for roughly $5 million in basic improvements to heating and air conditioning, entrances, restrooms, meeting rooms, the ice rink and other areas at the two venues.

TICKET SALES

Number of tickets sold to events at James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium in each fiscal year:

2010: 323,678

2009: 386,077

2008: 207,700

2010 SELLOUT SHOWS

Jan. 16 Rickey Smiley & Friends

Feb. 11 Winter Jam

Feb. 20 Jason Aldean-Luke Bryan

March 5 Royal Comedy Tour

March 23-24 Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family (2 shows)

May 2 Carrie Underwood

Nov. 15 Lady Antebellum (2 shows)

Nov. 16 Kicks 99 Guitar Pull

Nov. 20 Mannheim Steamroller

Comments (8) Add comment
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Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 11/23/10 - 11:42 pm
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To my former fellow Coliseum

To my former fellow Coliseum Authority members who conspired to keep a management company out of the building, and who personally brought in Larry Rogers, then Flash Gordon to run the operation...you may kindly kiss me right square in the palm of my butt.

I was replaced by Tommy Boyles before the decision to "go independent", but about a half dozen of the folks I served with, including Joe Scott (RIP) and Bill Maddox engineered the move. History has now shown the decision to be among the worst made by local government in the last 30 years.

Congrats to the NEW Authority...and to Global Spectrum...we appreciate the hard work...keep it up!

justus4
101
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justus4 11/24/10 - 01:59 am
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What is a "sold out" event?
Unpublished

What is a "sold out" event? How many seats are in the place? Is it over 10,000 seats? 20,000 seats? If the place has only 1,000 seats, then a so-called "sold-out" event is really nothing special. And the article cleverly avoids giving the seating capacity, which raises a red flag to the informed observer and suggest that something else is being inferred. Of course the managers deserve credit for their efforts, but the entertainment business is so fickle that the future economy may affect future acts, then lets see who get the blame.

truth_be_told
222
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truth_be_told 11/24/10 - 06:58 am
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justus---The amount of seats

justus---The amount of seats changes depending on the setup the particular event requires. Can we just trust in the FACTS and stop licking your wounds over brother Flash being a failure????????

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 11/24/10 - 09:51 am
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We tried cronyism,

We tried cronyism, politically correct diversityism, and governmentism and had zero "luck" at running the coliseum.
Who could have guessed that competence and professionalism was the answer to successfully operating this excellent venue? Will our local county commission take a hint?

Little Lamb
45869
Points
Little Lamb 11/24/10 - 09:58 am
0
0
Good comment, Cliff. A

Good comment, Cliff. A private company could take over the Patch and stop the operating deficit over there. It will happen only if someone stuffs a sock into the mouth of Commissioner Bill Lockett.

TrulyBlessed
0
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TrulyBlessed 11/24/10 - 10:23 am
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Cliff, so sad you don't have

Cliff, so sad you don't have a clue that competence and professionalism are achievable with diversity. Both the current Authority and the management staff at the Coliseum are fine examples of both.

GABornAndRaised
5
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GABornAndRaised 11/24/10 - 10:24 am
0
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The James Brown Arena seats

The James Brown Arena seats as many as 7,500 depending on the set-up. The Bell Auditorium seats as many as 2,500 depending on set-up.

Austin Rhodes
2862
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Austin Rhodes 11/24/10 - 10:44 am
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TrulyBlessed...I couldn't

TrulyBlessed...I couldn't care less what color someone is, just that they get the job done! YEP...several of the key players involved in the current ARRCC complex are black...but they are in place because they are competent and capable leaders, NOT because it was "their turn"...

Lou Stewall
326
Points
Lou Stewall 11/24/10 - 04:38 pm
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In the 80's the arena sold

In the 80's the arena sold out many times in a year not even counting the Bell. The 11 sold out shows are peanuts compared to that time. That's the past, and the new management is a welcome change. The chairman just doesn't know the history of the building.

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