Coliseum authority gives managers power to pursue new acts, events

The general manager of the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority left Monday's special-called meeting with loosened reins, enabling the management team to book new acts.

 

In a show of support from the 10-member board, general manager Robert "Flash" Gordon was told that he and assistant general manager Linda Roberts have the power and authority to pursue booking acts and events that will generate ticket sales from the area.

The confidence was given when concerns were voiced by board member Mildred McDaniel about Mr. Gordon's limited role.

"I have a feeling that Flash is reticent," when it comes to pursuing new business for the two city-owned venues, the Bell Auditorium and the James Brown Arena, she said.

Bill Law and John Manuel made motions to officially provide Mr. Gordon with a capacity to make deals with various promoters.

In a 9-0 vote, the board voted to provide Mr. Gordon and Mrs. Roberts the leverage needed to make decisions independent of board approval.

"As board members, let's stay out of it," Mr. Manuel said.

Jack Usry abstained from the vote, saying he encourages Mr. Gordon to seek counsel from the board in emergency situations - if needed.

Janice Jenkins, the assistant board chairwoman, commended Mr. Gordon for his "good job."

Mrs. Jenkins said the emergency meeting was scheduled.

She said that it had nothing to do with an argument that occurred Saturday night at the Bell Auditorium involving Mr. Usry and board chairman Harry Moore.

Mr. Usry and Mr. Moore had a disagreement about who has the authority to book an Aug. 1 boxing match at the Bell to air on ESPN.

Mr. Usry was dissatisfied because the entire board was not made privy to the deal.

Mr. Moore said he advised Mr. Gordon that the network-televised fight in Augusta would be a win-win for the city's reputation.

Top city officials agreed, Mr. Moore said.

Mr. Gordon said the contract with Southhaven, Miss.-based Prize Fight Boxing has not been signed.

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.