Keep JBA in Downtown Augusta
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On Tuesday, August 22 the Augusta Coliseum Authority voted 4-2 in favor of moving the James Brown Arena (JBA) from Downtown Augusta to the Regency Mall site. This vote came after a consulting firm recommendations to the contrary. The consulting firm was paid $142,000 to study the best options for an arena in Augusta and their top recommendation was to keep JBA where it is, increase capacity and do some remodeling on the current building, as well as connect the arena to the Bell Auditorium so that both venues (which are under the same management) would be under one roof, so to speak. The consulting firm offered 5 options in all. The Recency Mall site came in at number 3. Our Coliseum Authority spent over $140K of taxpayer money to get a recommendation from experts and then ignored not only the top recommendation but also the second. They voted to move JBA to an area with few restaurants, little lodging, safety issues, and no nightlife. Downtown Augusta has been revitalizing itself through the private sector for the past 15+ years with great strides coming in the last 5. There are numerous retail stores and restaurants within walking distance of the current JBA location. There are creative companies and corporate businesses bringing energy & employees to Downtown. New hotels have opened in downtown and the number of residents in the area continues to increase. All of these are reasons why an arena SHOULD BE located in downtown. More than likely, these are the same factors that the consultants considered when making their $140K recommendation to keep JBA in it's current location, connect JBA to the Bell Auditorium, and increase capacity so that larger artists can be booked and larger events take place. Keeping JBA in Downtown is vital for the arena's success. Please sign and share this petition so that our Commissioners will be able to see how many of us support keeping JBA in Downtown Augusta before they vote on this proposal.
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