Firm is chosen to take charge

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The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that Global Spectrum management take over running the often-troubled civic center and auditorium.

The authority authorized attorney Ed Enoch, interim General Manager Linda Roberts and some board members to begin negotiations on a contract, with hopes the board can approve the deal at next Tuesday's meeting.

The authority will pay the Comcast subsidiary a $10,000-a-month management fee and will pay all the bills. Current employees would become Global Spectrum employees.

The vote followed a morning presentation by Global Spectrum, during which a six-member team stressed the company's marketing efforts.

"Everybody sells all the time," said Frank E. Russo Jr., Global Spectrum's senior vice president of business development and client relations.

The civic center complex would benefit from marketing synergies in Columbia, where Global Spectrum manages the Colonial Center at the University of South Carolina, and at the Convocation Center at USC Aiken, the team stressed.

The Augusta facility also could increase revenue through Front Row Marketing, a subsidiary of Global Spectrum, and New Era Tickets, Mr. Russo said.

"Advertising could be 30 percent of revenue," he said.

The authority would control the tickets and get all the revenue with New Era Tickets, he said.

"You could get $25,000 to $85,000 a year by putting a company's name on the tickets," Mr. Russo said. "You keep the revenue."

After the vote, Freddie Sanders, the chairman of the authority's management search committee, said he was swayed to vote for Global Spectrum by Comcast's involvement and their access to advertising outlets the authority doesn't have.

"They were talking about putting notice of some shows on their bills and getting the word out to the community and their involvement in the community," Mr. Sanders said. "And also the involvement of some of the members.

"Apparently, Global Spectrum had local ties, and I believe they will be more interested in the good of the community, and that's why I voted the way they did."

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or

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CoastalDawg 06/18/08 - 09:35 am
This sounds like a good move

This sounds like a good move to get some sensibility back into the operation of the civic center - now if the name could just be changed. Whether or not one is happy with the way Comcast operates their cable business, they certainly have global connections both to attract events and to get them properly advertised. So will this contentious authority have any power in the operation? It seems to me as if they wouldn't even be needed in the new operation; it is good that current employees can keep their jobs and chances are that they can now enjoy benefits which they previously did not have. One of the most amazing points to this whole thing is that there are NO comments posted, although this subject has generated thousands of comments on earlier stories. Hopefully this is a move forward for the Augusta-Richmond County civic center.

voluptuously_auburn1 06/18/08 - 11:03 am
Does this mean the Civic

Does this mean the Civic Center Board is no longer in charge of any of the decision making processes at the Civic Center ? Does this mean that group of disfunctional idiots will finally be disbanded ?

imdstuf 06/18/08 - 11:19 am
No, the board will still

No, the board will still micromanage, just like they did last decade when we had LMI trying to run the civic center.

to tell the truth1
to tell the truth1 06/18/08 - 11:19 am
It doesn't matter whom and

It doesn't matter whom and how much they pay anyone to manage, it's not going to work. People in the CSRA are not going to support entertainment here because the average salary in this area people just can't afford the bill, (even before gas prices skyrocketed). When better paying jobs and industry ever hit the area, just MAYBE there will be a chance... One thing the government in Richmond County does know how to do and that is WASTE MONEY!

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 06/18/08 - 11:30 am
This company is going to get

This company is going to get a guaranteed fee no matter whether any concerts are scheduled or not. The taxpayers are going to make up all losses for the concerts that do get scheduled. What a sweetheart deal for Global Spectrum. No accountability, no risk, no penalty for non-performance. Not bad.

joebowles 06/18/08 - 12:12 pm
Little Lamb, While I haven't

Little Lamb, While I haven't seen the contract there will be financial benchmarks for Spectrum to meet. Usually its a bonus based situation based on cutting the losses to a predetermined level. At least I hope they included that, it was in LMI's agreement and losses were reduced to $440,000 annually (Including the mgt fee)

Anonymous Person
Anonymous Person 06/18/08 - 12:41 pm
The only way the new

The only way the new management will work is if they abolish the board, otherwise it will be another LMI fiasco.

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