Originally created 01/10/01

Lynx GM denies rumors of move over ad rights



Augusta Lynx General Manager Paul Gamsby said ownership has no plans to move the team, despite continuing battles over permanent advertising rights with the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority.

"There is no more frustration," Mr. Gamsby said. "Anyone who wants to come read the contract can - they signed it; we signed it ... We have honored it, and we fully expect them to honor it."

Two years remain on the current deal, after which the Lynx will have the option to exercise a five-year extension.

The contract is between the Lynx and SMG, a private Philadelphia-based management group hired by the authority to run the civic center. It states the Lynx have rights to all of the facility's existing, year-round advertising; the authority gets 35 percent of the revenue.

Reggie Williams, the civic center general manager, said those rights are not exclusive.

"If new space is created, that doesn't mean it will be given to the Lynx," Mr. Williams said. "If it is not given to the Lynx, that would not be a breach of the agreement."

Recent pleas from the Augusta Stallions to be granted space for permanent advertising have compelled the authority to re-evaluate the amount of space in the arena used for permanent advertising.

Mr. Gamsby said he opposes any expansion of advertising space, and any new advertising space should go to the Lynx.

"It's no different from any other medium," Mr. Gamsby said. "We sell our advertisements the same way as television and radio, with the understanding that the space is limited to avoid saturation."

Mr. Gamsby added that, as advertising space increases, advertising rates drop.

When the Lynx signed the original agreement in 1997, there was almost no advertising in the arena.

"The complete risk was on our part to come into a new market and make it work," Mr. Gamsby said. "Do you think for one moment that these advertisers are not buying hockey? ... If there was no hockey, do you think they would continue to pay for the advertising?"

Bill Maddox, the authority board chairman, said he hopes the authority can find some permanent advertising space to grant the Stallions.

"I think it's already pretty well filled up," Mr. Maddox said. "And I think we've tried to bend over backward to be fair to the Lynx, but we want to be fair to the Stallions, too."

Frank Lawrence, the owner of the arenafootball2 Stallions, who are in their second year of existence, said he hopes the authority does something to change the fact that the Lynx control all the venue's permanent advertising.

"We don't think that's right," he said. "We'd like to have our share."

Ad space

The Complete Permanent Advertising Inventory for the Arena Bowl and Concourse at the civic center:

  • 36 backlit signs
  • 16 panels on the center scoreboard
  • 16 panels and backlit signs on the concourse
  • 14 plates attached to closed monitors located around the concourse
  • Eight end-zone panels
  • Eight panels on two big screens
  • Six murals on the doors of the arena concourse
  • Two panels and backlit signs around the arena concourse
  • Two panels and backlit signs on the auxiliary shot clock
  • Reach John Bankston at (706) 823-3352 or jbanks15@hotmail.com.