by Michael Lowrey
Now this is a strange development: The UPoR reports that the Charlotte Checkers are considering moving back to the old, old coliseum on Independence Boulevard — Bojangles’ Coliseum as it is currently called — if the city kicks in an extra $4 million for improvements there. (The Checkers have played at Time Warner Cable Arena since 2005.) Leaving aside the issue of a government subsidy for yet another sports franchise that is unlikely to move out of Charlotte, this seems like a major evolution for the city’s vision for Bojangles’ Coliseum. The idea in recent years has been to turn the place into a hub for amateur sports though getting private investment for the scheme has proven to be more challenging than city officials had hoped.
Now a mere three months after the Observer reports on delays with the amateur sports complex, there’s suddenly talk of having not-amateur sports there 38 nights a year, including this via the Observer:
The city and CRVA said the deal will help eliminate operating losses at Bojangles’ Coliseum and its neighbor, Ovens Auditorium. The CRVA said those two buildings lose $500,000 annually. Moving the hockey team to the arena – and collecting rent and parking revenue – should put the coliseum in the black, [Deputy City Manager Ron] Kimble said.
Which is an extremely odd thing to say if the amateur sports complex was still projected to do what city officials had previously claimed. So it sounds like it isn’t and moving the Checkers there is the best use the city and CRVA could figure out for the place. Not that they’re willing to admit that in public yet.
Bonus bizarre line from the Charlotte Observer story:
Charlotte Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble told the City Council on Monday that the Hornets are OK with the Checkers leaving Time Warner Cable Arena because it will free up 38 dates for other events.
What? The Hornets would be doing good to fill three of those dates a year with other events…