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Covered Arena Exploratory Committee Meets

City Manager John Godwin is serving on the committee
City Manager John Godwin
is serving on the committee

Last week, a newly formed committee appointed by the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce board of directors met to explore the viability of a covered arena behind the Love Civic Center.

There have been several previous initiatives to look into the feasibility of a covered arena, the most recent in 2008.  The 2008 study was a specialized study looking at a specific location on Church Street.  The cost, location and economic environment (the height of the 2008 economic collapse that we are still recovering from) thwarted the ability to move forward.

The newest initiative comes on the heels of a study done by Texas A&M – Commerce that shows the economic impact of Tour de Paris and the ASA Archery Tournament. The study revealed that the Archery Tournament generated approximately six times the economic stimulus of the single day Tour de Paris.  The Chamber and the Visitors and Convention Council, armed with this information are exploring a variety of ways to capitalize on “putting heads in beds.”

The appeal of a covered arena is that it attracts rural lifestyle events such as cutting horse and other equestrian type events but it also could double as a large concert venue.  Currently Lamar County lacks a entertainment venue large enough to accommodate concerts big enough to attract out of town visitors.

After about an hour of discussion, the committee asked the Chamber to have Dr. Steven Schwiff, Dean of Economic at TAMU who author the study to provide additional insight into the “heads in beds” number as well as explore the viability of a covered arena for our area.

The committee will reconvene when additional information is available from Dr. Schwiff, maybe in the next three to four months.

Those on the committee are: Chuck Superville, Curtis Fendley, Pam Anglin, Edwin Pickle, Greg Wilson, JD Davidson, John Godwin, Lawerance Malone, Matt Frierson, Renee Harvey, Richard Drake, Bobby Walters, Jeff Martin, Erik Roddy, Stephen Gerrald, Steve Keywood, Robert High and Shane Phifer.

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