New civic center arena in the works for Monroe - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

New civic center arena in the works for Monroe

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - On the heels of the completion of a new airport terminal, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo announced on New Years Day, his next big vision for the city: A new civic center arena. He calls it 2013's signature project.  "This is an ambitious project, but certainly the Monroe airport terminal was an ambitious project as well," said Mayo and says the Civic Center, built in the 1960's is now outdated.

He says there's a need for a bigger 21st century entertainment venue with anywhere from 10-thousand to 14-thousand seats. "When you look across the state and across the country we just don't compare with some of those [venues], it's a competitive type thing when you're trying to get those acts," said Mayo.

But the first step to turning the idea into reality is a feasibility study, which is a report written by a consulting firm that judges the cost and value of the plans. Monroe's city council took that first step by ordering up the 95-thousand dollar study in November. Once completed it will determine options concerning the arena size, location, and most importantly how much it will cost. "The price tag, the determination of it will be made by the size of the arena, obviously we know it will be millions [of dollars]," said Mayo, also adding he wants the new arena to be built downtown. However he admits such decisions can't be made until the feasibility study is completed in three to six months.

In addition to the arena, the consulting firm will also study the value of building a four star hotel.


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