RiverHawks in negotiations to stay in Augusta

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The Augusta RiverHawks announced Thursday they have entered into negotiations for a multi-year lease to remain in James Brown Arena beyond this season.

Team owners Bob and Diane Kerzner have agreed to the framework of a deal with Augusta Entertainment Complex.

Monty Jones Jr., general manager of the arena, said a deal should be finalized within a month. He and the team have been in contact regarding an extension for a couple months.

The deal would be for two years, beginning after the current hockey season. It includes the right for the Kerzners to nullify the lease should the RiverHawks not reach certain ticket numbers. They would be able to step away from the lease in May.

“To be a viable franchise in this market, we need to secure in the ballpark of 800 season-ticket holders, which is a modest increase from where we are currently, and is very achievable over the next handful of months,” RiverHawks president Mark Richards said in a news release. “Should we not hit that number, it would be very difficult for this organization to be viable in Augusta, but we are confident that it will be reached.”

The RiverHawks have about 550 season-ticket holders. The team ranks last in the Southern Professional Hockey League this season with an average attendance of 1,811 per game.

Vice president Ken Vezina said getting to 800 season-ticket holders is not a definite number, but a goal for the RiverHawks.

“Bob and Diane want to see the organization on track,” Vezina said. “That ballpark would give us a good key to success. I would say that’s not a hard number that we absolutely need to be at, but it needs to be in that direction.”

The RiverHawks are beginning a season-ticket sales drive that would reach out to different types of fans and allow them to become ticket holders in different ways. Those will include full, half and partial season-ticket plans, as well as flex-date and flex-pack offerings, and corporate plans.

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itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 02/01/13 - 12:13 am
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Very happy to see this

Very happy to see this article on the heels of the last one that implied the Hawks were done in Augusta.

countyman
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countyman 02/01/13 - 01:29 am
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After the performing arts

After the performing arts center on the river opens. One of the next big projects should consist of a 15k to 20k seat arena.

The current arena has started to attract the bigger acts recently, but it's still not good enough.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/01/13 - 06:05 am
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Has the JB Arena sold out in

Has the JB Arena sold out in recent history?

my.voice
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my.voice 02/01/13 - 07:39 am
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North Augusta will end up

North Augusta will end up taking this from Augusta too :)

OpenCurtain
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OpenCurtain 02/01/13 - 08:31 am
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No Sweet Heart Deals

As much as I like some sporting events. Our government is NOT in the business to support teams that cannot draw enough fans to keep it afloat.

I Guess, I'll Go On Record Early.
No New Stadiums, if paid for by the Taxpayers or New Taxes.

If does not generate a NET Profit, or Netural expense we can't afford it.

I would vote NO.

There is always a option of a LLC operation.
Build a new stadium.

Have the county own 51% and sell 49% of the stock to generate building and operational funds. Manidate that no single person, family, or group of companies may own or control more than 15% of the private held stock.

At least this way there would be a FULL federally controlled accounting of operations. An the Downtown power brokers won't have sole control.

Techfan
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Techfan 02/01/13 - 08:35 am
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An increase of over 45% is

An increase of over 45% is "modest"? I wish I had a "modest" increase in my salary.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 02/01/13 - 11:05 am
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Riverman

Yes, it has sold out for a couple of concert events.

pommom38
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pommom38 02/01/13 - 12:15 pm
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Wish

them the best of luck getting decent sth numbers.
Arena counts tickets scanned, not sold, so we're still never going to see average of 2000. Many have season tickets, but miss a good portion of the games for whatever reason.
So curious, is Kerzner going after tickets sold or actually USED to increase?
This brings back last season when negotiations were taking place, we were given the Yes, we're staying in mid February, praying for the same this time but there was nowhere near the media attention as now, so i'm cautious calling this either way.

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