Company enters bid to run James Brown Arena

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An entertainment and convention venue management company wants to put Augusta's James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium on the entertainment world radar and give them visibility -- all for an annual management fee and with the authority paying all the expenses.

A four-member sales team from SMG Management Co. made a pitch Thursday before the Coliseum Authority management search committee and most of the board.

"We're out there making it happen in small and large facilities," said Robert L. Cavalieri, the senior vice president, business development .

The Philadelphia-based company is the largest of its kind in the country and manages theaters, performing arts centers and convention centers worldwide, and has turned many around from losing operations to successes, he said.

Mr. Cavalieri promised to "fight to see that any event" coming Augusta's way comes to the civic center complex.

He and other team members praised the facilities and said their age doesn't matter.

"Nobody buys a ticket to see a building," he said. "If the customer service is great and the building is clean and the ticket buying is easy and the whole experience is pleasant, they'll come back."

According to Mr. Cavalieri and Harry Cann, the senior regional vice president of operations, Augusta fits perfectly in their network of venues and is the only such company that has no conflict with nearby competing facilities.

Civic center employees would work for SMG, which also would interview and recommend finalists for the general manager's position, but the Coliseum Authority would hire the general manager.

SMG is the first of two companies to make presentations. Next week, the committee will hear from Global Spectrum, which manages the USC Aiken Convocation Center.

If authority members can agree to pick one of them at their June 24 meeting, the lawyers will negotiate a contract for them to approve.

After Thursday's presentation, management search committee Chairman Freddie Sanders called the meeting very beneficial.

"It's amazing that we listened to a lot of problems that we have that seem to be throughout the industry," he said.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (19) Add comment
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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 06/13/08 - 03:46 am
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Freddie? You mean to tell me

Freddie? You mean to tell me that other civic centers have the same infighting, name-calling, kicking, screaming, back-stabbing, prejudicial voting that OUR civic center has??? And here I was thinking that we were something special! Well, personally, I think the folks running Wal-Mart could put in a bid to manage the James Brown Arena, and they'd get it! Right about now, anyone could do a better job than the clowns that are already in place. We sure will miss the behind-the-scenes soap opera/wrestling match though!

PTHS2
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PTHS2 06/13/08 - 05:40 am
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That's not just your opinion

That's not just your opinion - it's mine too! Well said!

pizzato
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pizzato 06/13/08 - 06:04 am
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Hopefully the management

Hopefully the management company will have the right to "clean house" authority members and all. Until that happens nothing will change the facility will continue to shame the late James Brown.
I personally would like to see the building come down and just start over.

Little Lamb
50546
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Little Lamb 06/13/08 - 06:47 am
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This is a crock. This

This is a crock. This company gets all its expenses paid and then a "fee" or "bonus" on top. It's better than the Westinghouse deal at SRS years ago. What I would like to see is for the Arena and Bell to simply be rented out to anyone who is financially responsible to put on their show. The show promotion should be done by the artists, not the taxpayers.

imdstuf
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imdstuf 06/13/08 - 07:12 am
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I don't know about SMG. Are

I don't know about SMG. Are they same one that use to be LMI that ran it in the past? I was not impressed back then, granted alot of problems may have been from the CA micro-managing. Still, Global Spectrum seems to be doing a good job getting shows into the Aiken center which is smaller.

426Hemi
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426Hemi 06/13/08 - 07:20 am
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Mr. Cavalieri promised to

Mr. Cavalieri promised to "fight to see that any event" coming Augusta's way comes to the civic center complex. He and other team members praised the facilities and said their age doesn't matter. What? Age doesn't matter and the facility neither? What a bonehead!! Good luck with attracting folks to your outstanding events. I see he's using the word "fight." Just what Augusta needs; another fighter. Seems reasonable though, given the history of all the knock-down, drag-outs that this city has to offer, if only in the form of government entertainment. This company appears to be nothing more than puffing out its chest. In jest! Go away, and find a company with meaningful intentions-not just a quick buck at the expense of Augustans!!!

426Hemi
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426Hemi 06/13/08 - 07:21 am
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BTW, whenever there's a

BTW, whenever there's a fight, you can count on black eyes and lawsuits!

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 06/13/08 - 08:17 am
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Just my opinion but with the

Just my opinion but with the Global Spectrum working for the Aiken center wouldn't there be a problem with them running the Bell or the Arena here in Augusta? With the locations being so close in poximity would one location be favored over the other when bringing big name shows to the area? I've never been to anything in Aiken so maybe the difference in size and seating capacity would keep it from being a conflict.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 06/13/08 - 08:25 am
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SMG is a very well known and

SMG is a very well known and respected company in this field. They can do what's necessary to make JBA and BA thrive. You pay for the best, you get the best.

avidreader
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avidreader 06/13/08 - 09:04 am
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I wonder if SMG has popped

I wonder if SMG has popped open the can of worms yet? Or have they just examined the label?

TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 06/13/08 - 09:28 am
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They need to set up their
Unpublished

They need to set up their contract so that the majority of their pay comes from proceeds from sales!!! I hope they start with changing the name back to what it was meant to be.... The Augusta Richmond County Civic Center! If we're getting rid of the ghetto people running it.... perhaps we can get rid of the ghetto name and bring some "real" acts to stage!

Newsreader
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Newsreader 06/13/08 - 10:15 am
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I still think we need to

I still think we need to eliminate the CA and let the venues be run under any existing department with ARC Government. Then if we need somebody to promote the venue, let these organizations provide acts and the government run the facility. It would save a lot of money and provide the citizens of ARC the control they should have over the Arenas. I guess I am only one that thinks abolishing the CA and moving to ARC control is the thing to do.

sc83
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sc83 06/13/08 - 10:45 am
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Global Spectrum is doing a

Global Spectrum is doing a great job of booking and running the USC Aiken Convocation Center. With Global Spectrum being in the market it makes more sense for them to run all facilities so promoters can do "one-stop shopping" for booking shows in three different venues. There is no need for tension between promoters when they are having to battle between different management companies. Global Spectrum is very well respected in the market and I think they would do an amazing job!

musiclover1
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musiclover1 06/13/08 - 10:55 am
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Augusta at it again! SMG

Augusta at it again! SMG promising the moon and its not going to happen. Please bring in an established company in the market like Global Spectrum. We have screwed up Augusta enough with this board crap and need to stick to a company that already knows the market! They KNOW what the problems are and how to fix them!

motivatedinhepzibah
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motivatedinhepzibah 06/13/08 - 11:05 am
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What has global spectrum done

What has global spectrum done for the aiken convocation center. Can somebody name one time they have went to aiken to see something. Because i cant and dont no anybody who has. When the tee center is built off reynolds street. The civic center will fall into place. Because the tee center will be done by 2010. That facility by itself will attract people, and shows to the area. And when the tee center is full to capacity, the bell auditorium, and civic center can have the left over events. And trunkintranger who is ghetto that runs the civic center. And how is james brown name ghetto. Without james brown augusta would only have the masters.

Riverman1
98718
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Riverman1 06/13/08 - 11:37 am
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Global Spectrum is a

Global Spectrum is a subsidary of Comcast. They have done well acts at The Convocation Center. But realize USC Aiken owns the building and gets lot of community monetary support in corporate contribuitons, notably from the SRP. Give the Coliseum to ASU and they could turn this thing around.

minime
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minime 06/13/08 - 11:39 am
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shame James Brown???? how

shame James Brown????
how about shaming the community?
what a joke.... they couldn't babysit their grandmas.

TonyArgo
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TonyArgo 06/13/08 - 12:18 pm
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First off

First off motivatedinhepzibah, you need to get an education. It is spelled HEPHZIBAH; next cities should start with capital letters, such as Aiken, and your sentence should read "Because I can't, and don't know anybody who has." That's just a start. Just because you have not come to Aiken for a show doesn't mean that nobody goes. If memory serves me correctly, the very first show in Aiken was SOLD OUT, the bull riding (that moved from the civic center) was SOLD OUT, the Charlie Daniels concert was very close to being SOLD OUT. Plus there have been many other shows that have drawn above average crowds.
As far as the civic center goes it needs to have a management company come in, and the CA thrown out. It needs to have it's name changed to anyone who is willing to pay to put their name on it, such as BILO center, or Staples Center. What about EZGO, P&G, or Monsanto? Just to name a few. Then, there is alot of information not mentioned in this article. If SMG wants the CA to pay for all expenses, will all proceeds from events go to the CA? Or does SMG plan on dividing the profits? What about the LYNX and the COLTS? Will SMG give profits to them? Or will that also have to be divided?

sctex
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sctex 06/14/08 - 04:28 am
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Augusta is a dump. Get out

Augusta is a dump. Get out while you can.

crazyoldman
21
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crazyoldman 06/14/08 - 08:34 am
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