Augusta planning new 10,000-seat arena

Site plan for new Augusta arena (Augusta Chronicle photo / May 2018)
One possible site plan for Augusta’s new arena is shown in this August 2017 file. (Augusta Chronicle photo)

Ongoing discussions about building a 10,000-seat arena and convention center in Henry County has led Moving Henry Forward to research other arena projects happening throughout Georgia. In Augusta, local leaders are planning to replace an existing forty-year-old structure.

The city’s consultant for project management, Atlanta-based H.J. Russell and Co.’s S.P.A.C.E. Venues Group, provided an update to the Augusta Commission in January. H.J. Russell and Company is also building Stockbridge’s new amphitheater.

The company’s timeline estimates construction starting in January 2021 completing the project by the end of 2023. They expect to finish planning and market analysis for the arena in July.

A 2014 feasibility study estimated project costs between $90 to $110 million dollars. Last summer, the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority forecast it would have “to borrow in excess of $100 million or draw heavily from sales taxes” for the project.

For comparison, Savannah’s new arena that’s under construction is costing their city $165 million. Closer to home, Georgia State University in Atlanta is planning a new 8,000-seat multipurpose facility for $85 million.

Moving Henry Forward is sharing information about other arena projects in Georgia so that voters may be better informed about a major topic in Henry County Government. Commissioners voted 3-2 in February to adopt a capital improvement plan that includes the proposed 10,000-seat arena and convention center.

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