Authority discusses VIP seating for coliseum

Special VIP seating with its own amenities, available to purchasers willing to pay a premium, may be coming to James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium in the new year.


On Tuesday, the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority board described creating a special bloc of seats with amenities such as those offered in suites or skyboxes at larger arenas.

"It might be a nice little perk," said Brad Usry, the authority vice president. "It would provide really good service for an element of people willing to pay for it."

Modifications at the venues creating the sections would be paid for with a portion of proceeds from recently issued bonds, said Monty Jones, the general manager for Global Spectrum, which operates both facilities for the authority.

The seating would "make it a little better for patrons, give them an added experience," Jones said. "It's also revenue-generating."

With a $1.3 million check for hotel-motel tax proceeds expected to arrive Friday, the authority showed just $5,425 in year-to-date revenues Tuesday, according to accountant Brenda Carroll.

Year-to-date expenses were $465,936, coming in about $60,000 under budget, and $82,769 below last year's actual expenses, her report showed.

With bond payments coming due during 2011, Global Spectrum will have just $440,000 in operating revenues for the year, Carroll said.

Jones said that although Augusta Entertainment Complex was about eight events under budget for 2010, it will be "making up for lost time" in 2011, with concerts and events including Mike Epps with Sheryl Underwood, two bull-riding shows, the O'Jays, Royal Comedy Tour, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Blake Shelton and the Avett Brothers.

The nine December events so far at James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium drew a total attendance of 10,250, including 5,400 total for six Augusta RiverHawks games.