City leaders decide on management company for Albany Civic Center

City leaders decide on management company for Albany Civic Center
Trent Merritt is the Regional Vice President for the company. (Source: WALB)
Trent Merritt is the Regional Vice President for the company. (Source: WALB)
Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard said she is excited about this step for the city. (Source: WALB)
Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard said she is excited about this step for the city. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Changes are coming to the Albany Civic Center.

Albany City commissioners approved an agreement with Global Spectrum, Spectra Venue Management to manage the civic center, municipal auditorium and amphitheater at Tuesday's meeting.

It comes only weeks after a low attended event at the Albany Civic Center.

"I think it's a great opportunity for the community," said Mayor Dorothy Hubbard following the vote.

The city's discussions with Spectra date back to October of 2015. Since then, the commission has heard several bids.

On Tuesday, commissioners gave Spectra the green light to start managing the facilities.

"It's not going to be easy and it's not going to happen overnight, but we are very excited about the potential opportunity and I think we can do a great job," said Spectra Regional Vice President Trent Merritt.

Merritt and his team spent the day meeting with city leaders and current employees at the facilities.

"You've got an incredible staff here who's done an admirable job," said Merritt. "We are going to try and give them the tools now to implement a lot of those strategies."

Their first step he said is to hire a general manager.

The goal for Spectra is to bring the civic center back to life. It is to make sure the civic center isn't costing the city more money but instead, adding to the city's budget.

In the coming months, Spectra will do a comprehensive audit of the facilities and create a report to see specifically how it plans to meet its goals of making the civic center profitable.

"I am really optimistic in hoping we will be profitable," said Mayor Hubbard. She said Spectra has proved itself in other cities, she has confidence they can do the same in Albany.

The strategies used will be similar to the ones used in other facilities where Spectra has had success. The company manages 154 facilities nationwide that are around Albany's size, including in Macon and Augusta.

"We were able to really reduce their deficits pretty significantly in the first couple of years," explained Merritt when speaking about the other facilities Spectra was able to turn around.

Between Spectra's connections and the great facilities Albany has, Merritt believes good things are on the horizon for Albany's entertainment future.

"So that's our goal, to be great community partners and represent the city of Albany and have them be proud of the decision they've made," said Merritt.

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