by Sam Hieb
The War Memorial Commission—which oversees and advises the Greensboro Coliseum complex—has written a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory to “respectfully request that you reverse your support of this economically harmful legislation,” aka HB2.
This is something that’s bothered me since Bruce Springsteen cancelled his concert at the coliseum back in March. Left out of the debate over wealthy entertainers canceling appearances in Greensboro is the fact that the hard working men and women—-many who support HB2 by the way—- carry the coliseum on their backs through their tax dollars. (Let’s not forget Springsteen tickets aren’t cheap, either.) I could go on and on about the money the coliseum has cost taxpayers over the years, but in the coming fiscal year, the coliseum complex will receive a general fund contribution of $2.7 million to support operations—-an increase of $200,000. The complex is an expense that seemingly never ends—-the aquatic center next door to the coliseum is still carrying $5.9 million in debt through certificates of participation—- which don’t require voter approval.
More recently, the City Council approved $20 million (again without referendum) in limited obligation bonds for additional coliseum complex improvements, a a good chunk of which will go towardrenovating the pavilion that will house the new NBA D-League Greensboro Swarm.
And let’s not forget either that the city’s highest-paid employee is none other than coliseum director Matt Brown. So when I hear the Greensboro Coliseum crying abut “economically harmful legislation,” somehow I have trouble mustering sympathy.