Renaming the 8,500-seat civic center arena after James Brown, "the hardest working man in show business," was a good thing for the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority to do. It made us all feel good, including him.
The Godfather of Soul surely has earned the honor. He's been a world-renowned giant in the entertainment industry for nearly 50 years - and in all that time, in his global travels, he's never had anything but nice things to say about his hometown of Augusta, where he still maintains deep roots.
In recent years, Augusta has returned the compliment, when the city erected a downtown statue of Brown, and named a street and music festival in his honor.
The James Brown Arena also is a worthy tribute; his name might even help attract more and better events. Even so, this must not obstruct the real problem - namely, that our community has outgrown the civic center.
What's needed is not just a name change, but a modern, new and larger facility befitting a community of our size and prestige. Yes, we know the civic center is undergoing renovations, but that's like trying to cure cancer with a Band-Aid. No amount of renovations can save an arena that's too small, old and worn-out to do its new namesake justice.
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