The Final Four isn’t coming to Augusta anytime soon, but the court where it was played might.
If Augusta Coliseum Authority members approve a proposal from Global Spectrum, the James Brown Arena could become the home to the same court on which the Kentucky Wildcats were crowned 2012 NCAA Men’s Division I champions.
The court – goals included -- can be had for about $110,000, according to arena general manager Monty Jones Jr., a purchase which he thinks can pay for itself in about five years.
A new court could generate new revenue for the arena through hosting local and regional basketball games and tournaments, Jones told authority members. He also predicted the arena could get $10,000 to $20,000 per year in selling court sponsorship rights.
Jones said he has had some initial discussions with local college officials about hosting a few games and got positive reactions.
Augusta State University Jaguars Coach Dip Metress said although he doesn’t make decisions about where games are played, the idea has merit. He’s already talked about the possibility with Augusta State athletic director Clint Bryant.
“We would definitely be interested in playing a game down there if they had a new court,” Metress said.
Jones said the arena has a court that is about 30 years old that they pull out once a year for Harlem Globetrotters events, but the old court is unfit for college or high school events. He said it takes a long time to assemble and level the court and the surface is way past its prime.
“I’ve actually turned down events because of the condition of that court,” he said.
Jones said if the authority acts soon, the court can be purchased at a discount through Global Spectrum’s connections, which would probably save $20,000 to $30,000 over the cost of buying a brand new court.
“They only played a couple of games on this court,” he said, refering to the Final Four played at the New Orleans Superdome in March.
Board member David Hogg asked Jones if he had done a financial analysis on the costs and potential revenue of getting a new court, but Jones didn’t have hard figures.
Board Chairman Cedric Johnson directed Jones to provide that analysis to the board’s finance committee, which will meet Tuesday. Board members voted to allow the finance committee to make a final decision on the purchase at that meeting.
Jones was confident that the purchase would be a smart move for the arena.
“The main reason that we need a new basketball court is that this will be a revenue generating expense,” he said.