Albany promoter speaks out about proposal to tear down Civic Cen - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany promoter speaks out about proposal to tear down Civic Center

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Not everyone is agreeing with a proposal to tear down the Albany Civic Center, and replace it with a sports complex.

Gilbert Udoto is already making plans for his 5th Annual Soulfest Concert this spring at the Albany Civic Center.

It is one of several shows he hosts at the venue.

He says without the Civic Center, he would have no place to host shows. He thinks to the city needs to work harder to bring more events to Albany.

"My shows work, we have promoters that want to come over here, but if you don't have a relationship with the promoters then they will go other places."

He says part of the problem is there's no full time director at the civic center to bring events to the facility.

"Someone who can stay on the phone everyday. Someone that can go to Macon, Tallahassee, and Atlanta, and see what's going on so we can duplicate the same thing here."

Commissioner BJ Fletcher says the Civic Center is old and outdated..and its draining tax payer dollars to the tune of 1.3 million dollars a year.

"The biggest thing with the Civic Center is we have schools that use it for graduation. We have the money to build a sports park. We could put that sports park in that location and build a pavilion to cover those graduations, and I just think that its a win win situation."

Fletcher says the budget will take a hit in four years when the city will lose revenue it currently receives from the Municipal Electrical Authority of Georgia and they have to find a way to make up for that loss.

"We've got to right now get to the point where we can find revenue to make up for that."

Otherwise the city would have to look at other options like raising the mileage rate..something she doesn't want to do.

Commissioner Fletcher says anyone who has ideas can attend their meetings or give her a call.

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