Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority discusses replacing the ice system at James Brown Arena

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 5:30 PM
Last updated 8:35 PM
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A more specific timetable for deciding to replace the ice system at James Brown Arena was presented at the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority meeting Tuesday.

Monty Jones Jr., general manager of Global Spectrum which manages the arena, said there should be a final suggestion or answer to the issue by the end of April.

“We should have something back from the insurance company, what they’ve come up with for a final suggestion or answer, by the end of April,” he said. “We’ve talked about different scenarios. Once everything is provided from all angles, they’re going to do their analysis and get back to us.”

Once the insurance company provides its answer, the coliseum authority will use the information to make a decision on whether replacing the ice system in the arena is possible.

Jones said management spent between $30,000-35,000 on maintenance and patching to determine whether the Augusta RiverHawks could have returned this season. It was determined the system would need a more thorough fix, and the RiverHawks were forced to play their final eight home games at the Augusta Ice Sports Center.

If a new ice floor is required, it is estimated to cost between $1-1.5 million, according to Jones.

“Right now, we’re just trying to do our due diligence to find out if it’s feasible or not,” authority chairman Cedric Johnson said. “We want to accelerate it, but we’re dealing with the insurance company, so there have been some things we just couldn’t accelerate.

“The main thing is we want to be sure we do it right. We don’t want to rush, but make sure we make the right decision and cover all our options.”

Jones said he met with RiverHawks owner Bob Kerzner on Tuesday and filled him in on the situation. Any details regarding refunding the team’s lost revenue for the final eight home games will be discussed once the insurance company provides final estimates.

“Bob and I have been talking the whole time,” Jones said. “We’ve been keeping each other in the loop as far as what’s going on. We met this morning and, like I told him, I hope sometime in April we should have some idea where we’ll be at.”

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fedex227 03/26/13 - 08:01 pm
There should be a final suggestion/answer to the issue ...

by the end of April ... If a new ice floor is required, it is estimated to cost between $1-1.5 million.

I'm betting, no hockey for Augusta.

Gage Creed
Gage Creed 03/26/13 - 09:00 pm
That's the

That's the outdoor ice hockey arena and "mixed use" development at the former GGHOF! A surefire way to bring in tourism!

itsanotherday1 03/26/13 - 09:10 pm
I agree fedex

I was at the meeting and though Mr. Johnson recognizes having the arena and pro sports are community amenities, a couple on the authority seem to think it is a "for profit" operation down there.

As a matter of principle though, I would have some difficulty spending that much on an arena that is outdated and ready for the wrecking ball. If they are going to squeeze another 10 years out of it then maybe, but if there are any plans on the horizon for a new facility then probably not.

Regardless, there are some narrow minded people on the authority that think because they don't like hockey, then the local government shouldn't support it. I don't like basketball, but I would like to see a semi-pro team here for the "amenity" it brings to others.

rocketserve 03/27/13 - 12:42 pm
Just curious

What is the average attendance at the hockey games? I think that is something that should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to drop over $1 million dollars for an ice floor that may never pay for itself. I understand that not only hockey uses the ice, other events such as the Disney on Ice shows use it, but that is usually a once or twice a year deal. I agree with the above, that facility is outdated and should be replaced.

GnipGnop 03/28/13 - 04:07 pm
I will tell you this....

I have heard a lot of hockey fans say that if Augusta won't support the team and replace the ice they should be sued for breach of contract by the team and the advertisers and that they will never spend another dime of their money on anything that happens at the JBA. If the average attendance to the games is 2000 that is about 500 cars paying 5 bucks to park that's straight profit not including what they make from the sharing of advertising and all of the concession sales they make. Some teams spend the night in a motel...more funds lost. Maybe if Billy Morrison or Paul Simon were involved it would happen sooner....

hockeymann 10/23/13 - 12:13 am
I'm sick of our do-nothing

I'm sick of our do-nothing County Commissioners. They should have already fired Global Spectrum and Monty Jones for gross negligence in
allowing the big trucks in with minimal supervision to destroy the ice system. The current "Coliseum Authority" should be abolished and replaced
with folks who have at least minimal brainpower. Augusta should lose the
arena battle to Columbia County, but Ron Cross has lost his nerve out
there for anything bigger than an amphitheater, despite an arena straw
vote several years ago that passed with 60% of the votes. Augusta has
already lost the Greenjackets to N. Augusta, SC. Too bad they can't get
an arena too. I'd move over there if they had one.

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