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Charlotte Area

Construction To Begin On 'Link' Between Bojangles Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium

City officials break ground between Bojangles Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium.
Justin Lape
/
WFAE
City officials break ground between Bojangles Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium.

The ground has been broken between Bojangles Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium for construction of a new building that will connect the two entertainment venues. The connector facility, which is also referred to as "The Link," will feature new concession space, offices, hospitality rooms and an artist corridor to make it easier for performers to move around before and after shows.

The facility will cost an estimated $18.5 million. The money comes from the original $25 million set aside by the city’s community investment plan in 2014. It was originally intended for an indoor amateur sports complex but was redesignated after Goodsports, a proposed partner, was unable to perform. Charlotte City Council approved the funding in a 6-3 vote in July 2017.

Mayor Vi Lyles called it "a catalyst" for the city and sees it as a worthwhile investment.

“When the city set aside $25 million to redevelop this area, we know that we are investing in our community," Lyles said. "We are investing in both our past but we’re more importantly looking to the future with the demands of a growing city."

A rendering of the facility that is being built between Bojangles Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium.
Credit Justin Lape / WFAE
A rendering of the facility that is being built between Bojangles Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium.

While looking toward the future, city officials believe it is important to keep the coliseum’s history intact. Charlotte Regional Visitor Authority's chief executive Tom Murray says the new facility will only impact a portion of the infrastructure of the Coliseum, which has hosted events since 1955. District 1 Council Member Larken Egleston says it will complement the existing venues.

Egleston also says he will push for the LYNX Silver Line extension to connect uptown Charlotte to the venues where a proposed stop along the line would be.

“I think we need to make sure it's not only connected to neighborhoods but to destinations and this already is a destination but more-so when this improvement is made," Egleston said. "I think it gives people a reason to get even more behind rail down Independence Boulevard through into east Charlotte. It gives people somewhere to go and it gives them a good way to get there." 

The facility is expected to be completed by Fall 2019 in time for the city to host the Republican National Convention in 2020 when both venues will host events.