AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The Richmond County Coliseum Authority met to further discuss where to place the James Brown Arena. No conclusions were made from the meeting. They came together to discuss the timeline that has been developed overtime to show the progress in the Sink Combs Dethlefs research. Now although their research did show that the downtown area has been proven to be the most preferred location to place an arena, no final decision has been made.
The city of Augusta continues to anxiously wait on the fate of the James Brown Arena as the Coliseum Authority discusses options. Cedric Johnson, chairman of the Coliseum Authority says the Regency Mall did not become an option until Mayor Hardie Davis presented it to them and they wanted to be inclusive to all location ideas. However, he says Mayor Davis is not involved with the Coliseum Authority's decision. "This is strictly Coliseum that's handling this. And what we want and what we hope is that we can get to a point where we can take it back to the Mayor and Commission. Now if the Mayor gets in it, that's on his own. We're going to do our due diligence and we're going to do what we need to do as an authority," says Cedric Johnson.
During Sink Combs Dethlefs research presentation, they stated that national trends show that the best option for an arena would be in the downtown area. "It seemed like a quick vote, which it wasn't. We just didn't think the regency was necessarily rising to the top of some of the goals and visions that the Coliseum Authority had established about the downtown," says Michael Harvey.
And Chairman Johnson agrees with the research. "One of my factors would be the synergy with what we already have downtown. On the other hand, some of the people are looking at maybe a synergy that can be created out of the regency mall. So, we all have different synergies and different things that we're looking at," says Johnson.
Harvey says the original top decisions were all located in the downtown area because of downtown Augusta booming business. "There's a lot of great progress in the downtown and it just seemed that with everything else that's down here, it just seemed like a logical choice. If you remember, the first four sites were all downtown," says Harvey.
Right now, the Sink Combs Dethlefs says right now they are waiting while the Coliseum Authority continues to deliberate over the best location for the arena. And if the regency mall is their decision, they will begin to take steps to design an arena for that area.