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tombarnes

The Mississippi Coliseum

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Should the Mississippi Coliseum be Rebuilt?

The Mississippi Coliseum at the fairgrounds in Jackson was built in the late 1960's. In spite of relatively recent cosmetic renovations to the exterior, the coliseum is still too small to attract major acts. The capacity is somewhere around 9,000- an insignificant number when considering what us required these days. More important, however, is the difficulty of attracting major concerts and so on because of the alcohol restrictions at the coliseum. Before a new venue is built, the laws need to be changed to allow alcohol sales at concerts. Without them, the venue is unattractive to many- possibly most- major concerts. I'm not sure that rebuilding the venue at the present site is the best idea either. Building a larger, more modern, venue near the convention center now under construction would make much more sense. the money does not appear to be readily available, but I think it could be gathered somewhere. It is of crucial importance for Jackson to have a better concert venue. Too bad the Shaw family doesn't live in Jackson. Thoughts on this anyone?

The Clarion-Ledger

Interesting discussion at the Jackson Free Press.

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I think the City of Jackson definitely needs to address this facility issue in order to market the city to potential new residents and businesses. Otherwise I think the lack of modern facility to draw entertainment acts to the city could retard the potential gains the city seems poised to make in marketing the city as an attractive place to live and do business.

I find it interesting that Jackson is not looking solely at replacing the Mississippi Coliseum with a more modern facility downtown or elsewhere in regards to the city's size. In my Jackson (TN) our aging Oman Arena (built 1964) in the rather troublesome East Jackson portion of the city holds 5,600 and there has been talk in the recent past of replacing it at some point the future with a modern facility in the northern part of the city or county, and we are only rougly 1/3 the size of Jackson, MS. I would think a nice modern facility that was allowed to sell alcohol at events that warranted it would be a real asset in marketing the city and attracting shows that would bring folks from the region around Jackson in to spend money within the city on nights and weekends when shows took place.

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There has been limited discussion of placing a new venue downtown, but not enough of it. Some have questioned where a new arena might go. I'll admit that I don't exactly have a ready answer for this question. Placing it downtown near the new convention center would make sense, but I'm not sure that the land for such a project is indeed available. Building it in the suburbs is not a good idea at all. The new arena in Pearl might do something for Pearl, but it's hardly helping downtown Jackson flourish. As the heart of the metro area, downtown Jackson is the most logical place for a large concert venue.

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I believe the Mississippi Coliseum should be left in place and continue to be used for the Dixie Nation Rodeo, livestock events, tractor pulls, and monster truck rallys, etc. It is the perfect venue for those events. Also, it should continue hosting the concerts during the fair because most of the acts booked are in the "over the hill" gang, and there is nothing wrong with that at all because I love seeing my old favorites live and in person.

But a new arena is badly needed for Jackson, the metro area, and central Mississippi. I would like to see a 14,000 to 16,000 seat venue located just west of the Telcom Center on Pascagoula Street. There are three buildings that would need to be demolished. One is the Goodyear tire store that is adjacent to the Telcom Center and will likely be demolished anyway in the near future, I am sure. The other is nondescript office furniture supply store with a big sign in front saying they are relocating. The third building is an old building that is about to fall down anyway. It's been vacant at least forty years and is not worth saving at all.

As I said, the new arena should be built west of the Telcom center almost as a mirror of the new Convention center being built adjacent on the east side, with the same architecture or an accent architecture. The area along the railroad tracks ,down to what I believe is South St., is open field and could be paved and fenced to provide ample secure parking for the arena, and convention center.

By the way, as I understand it, The Telcom Center and Convention Center will become one and the same when construction is complete on the Convention Center. Ultimately, I would like to see the Convention Commission responsible for running and operating the Convention Center (Telcom center and Convention center combined), the planetarium, which is adjacent on the east side, Thalia Mara Hall (auditorium) which sits adjacent and east of the planetarium, and the new arena. The Misssissippi Art Gallery is in the mix too. This in my opinion, would create a convention and entertainment complex second to none. I heard Ben Allen allude to just what I have described on his weekly radio show on WLEZ every Wednesday at 5pm central (streams live on the internet if you ever wanted to listen in). Keep in mind also, that most of the area I'm talking about for the arena is a flat, open field, with relatively little demolition required, and very few trees. It would be as easy or easier to build there than to clear cut more woods out in the suburbs.

As far as access is concerned, I-20 runs less than a mile south and I-55 runs less than a mile east. There are numerous exits to take from both interstates to get to the site. Trustmark Park, in Pearl, sits close to and is visable from I-20, but you go through a maze to exit the interstate and work your way back to the ball park. Downtown Jackson has over 25,000 workers drive downtown every day, so a crowd of 16,000 folks would not be a problem at all.

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Good ideas Spoody! I was wondering today if a concert venue similar to the Shaw Center in Baton Rouge could be built in Jackson...It would be nice to have something like that in downtown Jackson. I do think that creating a convention district is a smart idea. All of the major components should be within an easy walking distance from one another. Too bad the civil rights museum is going to the burbs.

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Downtown Arena Under Discussion

After visiting downtown Little Rock, several business leaders in jackson were so impressed with the Alltel Arena that serious discussion of building something similar in Jackson is finally starting to happen. A project like this must be located downtown in order to benefit from the synergy of what's already happening there. As for the number of seats needed, I invite discussion.

WAPT News- video clip also

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Downtown Arena Under Discussion

After visiting downtown Little Rock, several business leaders in jackson were so impressed with the Alltel Arena that serious discussion of building something similar in Jackson is finally starting to happen. A project like this must be located downtown in order to benefit from the synergy of what's already happening there. As for the number of seats needed, I invite discussion.

WAPT News- video clip also

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This is the sort of thinking I hope will take root in Jackson. It's starting to happen already. If enough downtown leaders can push this through, Jackson will see new life in its downtown.

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