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Arena feasibility study kicks off with meeting

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - On Friday a meeting was held at the Civic Center to kick off a feasibility study for a new arena. 

City leaders say the arena has been on the city's wish list for sometime and now that the new airport terminal is complete, they can now focus on the next big project. "We're always excited when we're able to do something new," said City Spokesman Rod Washington.

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo says the current civic center, built in the 1960's is now outdated.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. "This facility that we've had has served us well for a number of years but its time to enhance what we are able to offer the community," said Washington.

The first step to turn the plan into reality is a feasibility study, which the council gave the stamp of approval for back in November. M3A architecture of Jackson, Mississippi was hired to do the work. "To do an arena and something that has the potential like any other building to last a lifetime is something that creates great enthusiasm for us," said Yolanda Mcelroy.

Representatives from the firm, hosted a meeting with stake holders Friday explaining study results will determine options concerning the arena size, location, and the price tag of such a project. Consultant Charlie Johnson says community input is critical to the study. "This was great, this meeting today, it helped us understand what their issues are [concerning the arena] but we have a lot more discussions to have with them [stakeholders]."

Once a site analysis is done, the firm wants to involve the public, by holding meetings and releasing an online survey. "I think its always important to get community input, because these are the people who will be utilizing the facility."

The feasibility study will take between 3 to 6 months to complete. 

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