Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
cityboi

Lawrence Joel Coliseum Complex

8 posts in this topic

City Officials are talking about selling Lawrence Joel Coliseum to Wake Forest University "to save money".......but is the city REALLY setting itself up on the sly to build a downtown arena in the future? The money Winston-Salem would get from the sale could be put in a pot for a future venue. A similar scenario happened with the baseball stadium. The city sold Ernie Shore Field to Wake Forest to help pay for a downtown ballpark. The city could be losing money operating the coliseum but a slightly larger downtown arena near the Benton Convention Center and downtown hotels would lure more events. Recent success at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex may have city leaders in Winston-Salem a little envious and they may be looking at building a more competitive venue in the long term future. It would certainly be a big deal for downtown Winston-Salem and attract more development and a downtown location would be an advantage over the Greensboro Coliseum. If there are secret unofficial discussions about a downtown arena in the long term future no one is saying anything publicly right now which would be smart after the situation with the ballpark. Right now they are saying that this is being done to save the city money. But wait until the economy turns around LOL. Stay tuned folks.

http://www.news-record.com/content/2011/02/11/article/joel_coliseum_for_sale

I'm not the only one thats suspicious. LOL Is the timing of these talks right after the U.S. Figure Skating Championships a coincidence? WInston-Salem wants the CIAA Tournament back and I know city leaders want to start attracting major concerts which are primarily going to the Greensboro Coliseum. The land value of the entire complex is around $62 million. Arenas are more costly to build than they were 10 years ago. You could build a new arena of similar size as the Joel for around $100 million, maybe less if they build a budget facility capable of expansion. If the city sold the entire complex, the city would already have over half the money. It appears as though the city is indeed talking about selling more than just the coliseum itself. They would sell all the annex building and Bowman Gray Stadium.

comments posted on the Winston-Salem Journal......

--"all things may not be as they seem.

I have heard from someone who should know, that the coliseum more than pays for itself thru attendance receipts, but the city uses trick accounting or something of that nature as a way to disparage it."

--"Well the City Council Members should be looking into that don't they? Perhaps someone downtown is very interested in getting rid of the facilities for other reasons..."

downtown_arena.PNG

Edited by cityboi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Presumably if the city were to sell the coliseum I doubt it would be to get financial leverage for a new downtown coliseum. Men's basketball has been the primary draw for the LJVM for quite some time it doesn't make any sense to sell the venue to Wake Forest and in the process lose the one thing that could consistently produce revenue for a new downtown arena. Plus since the Charlotte Coliseum was taken down the Greensboro Coliseum is the largest arena in the state not to mention it is the preferred venue for the ACC Tournament, it would be a tall task indeed to create an arena that could be on equal footing with Greensboro's. As the News and Record article mentioned an outside management group already runs the day to day operations of the Benton Convention Center so it makes sense the city would be looking to another interested institution or management group to run some of the sports venues as well. Regardless, its an interesting turn of events for the LJVM and one I'm sure many of the other posters here will be keeping an eye on. :)

Edited by basket1058

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting theory. The city wanting to build a new downtown arena never crossed my mind. But I also doubt it would happen anytime soon, if at all. We can hardly get a new library. And these days, to seriously propose a new arena, a tenant needs to be in place for the long term. If WFU buys LJVM, who would play at a new downtown arena? WSSU comes to mind but i doubt they would attract enough crowds regularly. For a college town metro, a similar situation like the KFC YUM! Center would be ideal on a smaller scale. Speaking of WSSU, I'm more excited about the sell of Bowman Gray! Owning this facility would free up land for the almost landlocked campus for expansion and would help with a retry at Div I-AA.

The CIAA needs to stay in Charlotte. I think its too big for any other NC city at this time. Winston has the MEAC for now which is a good sized tournament for a city its size. As rumored, hopefully the negotiations underway will keep the tournament here through 2016. Thats a win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now I don't think a new downtown arena in Winston-Salem is feasible considering that the Greensboro Coliseum is absorbing most of the events that come to the region. However as the two cities grow and more and more events come to the area, I think its possible that it could happen at some point. The selling of LJVM would just set the city up for it in the future. If the city doesn't own an up to date coliseum, there would be less resistance for a new facility in the future. A downtown arena doesn't have to be that large. The region certainly can't support another 20,000 plus seat arena. It could be an arena that seats around 8,000 to 10,000 or something the size of the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville. But it should be built with expansion in mind. I think a downtown arena in Winston-Salem could first be used primarily for concerts and a local minor league sports franchise. But the downtown location would also put Winston-Salem on the radar for larger conventions. In Greensboro the Koury Convention Center is less than a mile away from the coliseum but In Winston-Salem you could have an arena not only in close proximity to a convention center but all the facilities would be downtown with restaurants, entertainment and hotels with in walking distance. That would be a big selling point over Greensboro. In Greensboro if you attend an event at the coliseum you pretty much have to get in your car for good choice restaurants and when you return, you have to pay another $5 for parking. That would not be the case if Winston-Salem had a downtown arena. I think Winston-Salem city leaders are looking ahead. At this point in time a downtown arena is out of the question. A smaller multi-purpose venue would suit Winston-Salem well in the future. There may be a niche for a smaller arena in the future.

Here is the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo, Ohio. Its an 8,000 seat multi-purpose arena in the heart of downtown. In 2009, it cost about $80 million to build. The entire coliseum complex in Winston-Salem is valued at around $62 million.

A small arena like this would be a good fit for downtown Winston-Salem

toledo.jpg

LucasCountyArena.jpg

5068574914_04c56e75db.jpg

IceArena.jpg

Edited by cityboi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt there being any new proposals in the next few years but I could definitely see a smaller arean around 8-12K in downtown thats main tenant would be WSSU, as well as have other events. This new arena I could see being placed somewhere within the research park or near the convention center. WFU basically owns the Joel now and controls everything there so it only makes sense for them to eventually buy the stadium. I would love to see the city sell the Bowman Gray to WSSU and build a new stadium that could house a professional soccer team and possibly the races as well. The city needs a professional team and any new teams in the state should consider Winston-Salem or Raleigh, but Charlotte's market is already overcrowded and the teams there aren't major draws anymore.

I do however believe that the city may have something up its sleeve for the future, once the economy gets better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Breaking news. Greensboro coliseum will manage operations and book events at ljvm coliseum in Winston-Salem. This will lead to more entertainment events coming to Winston-Salem. This is one of the biggest steps in Triad regionalism I've seen in a long while. In addition to LJVM, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex will help promote events at other Wake Forest Sports facilities such as BB&T Field and the Tennis complex. Its a win win for the entire Triad.

 

http://myfox8.com/2013/09/26/greensboro-coliseum-to-manage-operations-at-wfu-ljvm-coliseum/

Edited by cityboi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FROM THE WAKE WILL CAMPAIGN:

We are seeking $10 million for renovations and upgrades that will transform the LJVM Coliseum into an environment that maximizes the fan experience while capturing the rich history and essence of Wake Forest. Not only will these renovations provide a greater sense of pride and place for both our student athletes and loyal fans, but it will also serve as a tool for recruiting future Demon Deacon athletes and staff. An arena with a more rewarding fan experience and enhanced capability will also serve as a more viable venue for other events, and as a source of supplemental revenue that can be used to support other University priorities. 045.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.