Firm is chosen to take charge

The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that Global Spectrum management take over running the often-troubled civic center and auditorium.


The authority authorized attorney Ed Enoch, interim General Manager Linda Roberts and some board members to begin negotiations on a contract, with hopes the board can approve the deal at next Tuesday's meeting.

The authority will pay the Comcast subsidiary a $10,000-a-month management fee and will pay all the bills. Current employees would become Global Spectrum employees.

The vote followed a morning presentation by Global Spectrum, during which a six-member team stressed the company's marketing efforts.

"Everybody sells all the time," said Frank E. Russo Jr., Global Spectrum's senior vice president of business development and client relations.

The civic center complex would benefit from marketing synergies in Columbia, where Global Spectrum manages the Colonial Center at the University of South Carolina, and at the Convocation Center at USC Aiken, the team stressed.

The Augusta facility also could increase revenue through Front Row Marketing, a subsidiary of Global Spectrum, and New Era Tickets, Mr. Russo said.

"Advertising could be 30 percent of revenue," he said.

The authority would control the tickets and get all the revenue with New Era Tickets, he said.

"You could get $25,000 to $85,000 a year by putting a company's name on the tickets," Mr. Russo said. "You keep the revenue."

After the vote, Freddie Sanders, the chairman of the authority's management search committee, said he was swayed to vote for Global Spectrum by Comcast's involvement and their access to advertising outlets the authority doesn't have.

"They were talking about putting notice of some shows on their bills and getting the word out to the community and their involvement in the community," Mr. Sanders said. "And also the involvement of some of the members.

"Apparently, Global Spectrum had local ties, and I believe they will be more interested in the good of the community, and that's why I voted the way they did."

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or