EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHUNTINGTON ARENA IMPACT
from Eyewitness News Online
Huntington Civic Arena Thrives Thanks To City
Reported by: Dave Benton
Videographer: Kenney Barnette
Web Producer: Dave Benton
Reported: Feb. 19, 2013 8:09 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 20, 2013 9:43 AM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
The Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington went through renovations a couple years ago and it's paid off.
Brian Sipe, the General Manager of the arena said, "I think the city went about it the correct way, they did it with the American Recovery Bond and combined all other debt. When they went to buy the bond it was only 200 thousand dollars a year for twenty years. Actually a good deal because interest rates were low then. They were able to take advantage of the bond from the Federal Government plus combine their debt."
Charleston's Mayor Danny Jones is proposing a sales tax that would help renovate the Charleston Civic Center. Snipe says if Charleston can get the money to upgrade it's center, go for it. "I know Huntington took out four and a half million dollar bond for us two years ago for the seat project and for the conference center renovations. We really needed to increase business as well, so that was the only way we could do that. If that's what they need to do, then more power to them."
Currently, SMG, based out of Philadelphia manages the arena while the city still owns the building. Sipes says the improvements are paying off. Instead of two concerts a year, there is an average of two concerts a month.
A recent impact study shows the arena brings a million dollars in state and local tax revenue to the area.
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