ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Ask anyone who lived in South Georgia in the 1980s, and they will tell you the Albany Civic Center rocked with big name entertainers.
Thousands of people came from across the South to hear top acts from Alabama to Stevie Wonder.
Besides concerts, professional basketball, NBA pre-season games, the Southeastern Conference Women’s basketball tournament‚ several high school state championship tournaments were played there.
Even hockey matches and monster trucks roared inside the Albany Civic Center floor.
But all that slowed to almost a complete stop in recent decades as the leadership of Albany’s entertainment venues apparently lost touch with the process of selling Albany to promoters.
The economic benefits from all those visitors also was lost.
Now, the city has hired a company called Spectra to manage the Civic Center, Municipal Auditorium, and Veterans Amphitheater.
And so far, the new leadership is paying off.
Rickey Smiley sold out the Civic Center over the weekend. A number of concerts like Rick Springfield have sold out the Municipal Auditorium. The Atlanta Dream will play this Friday, Marshall Tucker Band, Gucci Mane, and the Drifters are performing in June. The Big Apple Circus and Monster Trucks are part of a diverse audience schedule in coming months.
This kind of success will build momentum, as Spectra’s general manager said he continues to work with bigger name acts to appear in Albany.
We applaud the City of Albany’s leadership in bringing in Spectra, to bring life back to their entertainment venues.
Now, it’s up to South Georgians to help.
If you support the acts that come to Albany, they will be able to attract bigger names and acts in the future. That means a better quality of life in South Georgia.