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$51 Million For Bojangles Coliseum? A Talking Document Tells Us Why

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JAMES WILLAMOR/FILE
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A request for $51 million of city money to rehab the Bojangles Coliseum was a bit surprising. The city has already approved $25 million to renovate the site. This new proposal is still just that, a proposal. But it left us wondering just what this additional money would be used for.  So we turned to a real person and a talking document to find out.    

Some stories are best told through the magic of radio.  How else can you have a "talking document." But for our web friends we've decided to list just some of the key points listed in the actual document.  All bullet points are from the actual text.  Non bullet pointed text is just a bit of our own writing but all is based on that four page document.

Some of the requests are practical:

  • The original roof is in surprisingly good shape.  The center of the of the dome needs replacing and some repair (cost $600,000).

  • $5.2 million to replace the building’s heating and air conditioning systems.

  • $1.8 million for exterior repairs including the windows on the front of the coliseum.

Some requests sound, well, bring up the girth of our fair city and its population:

  • $1.6 million to remove and replace seating.  The original seats are wooden, not comfortable and are sized for a “thinner” population.

And some requests are outright guesses:

  • Asbestos removal.  $2 million.  CRVA says asbestos is extensive.  No analysis done, so this is a grab number.

Nowhere in the document is there a breakdown of the costs of tearing down the coliseum and starting from scratch. Randy Harrington, the city budget director says simply "I have not heard of that being discussed."

Tom Bullock decided to trade the khaki clad masses and traffic of Washington DC for Charlotte in 2014. Before joining WFAE, Tom spent 15 years working for NPR. Over that time he served as everything from an intern to senior producer of NPR’s Election Unit. Tom also spent five years as the senior producer of NPR’s Foreign Desk where he produced and reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon among others. Tom is looking forward to finally convincing his young daughter, Charlotte, that her new hometown was not, in fact, named after her.