Council to consider contract renewal
HUNTINGTON -- The Big Sandy Superstore Arena is seeking to renew a contract with SMG Worldwide Entertainment and Convention Venue Management, the company that has managed the arena since 2000.
The contract renewal will be up for approval by Huntington City Council members during the regular meeting Monday, Sept. 23.
Arena manager Brian Sipe said the arena has tentatively agreed to a 10-year contract extension with SMG. If city council approves the contract, the arena would receive a $250,000 signing bonus, Sipe said.
The money would be used to make much-needed upgrades at the 35-year-old facility, Sipe said during a city council work session Thursday.
"We've done a lot of work there, but there are still plenty of places where we can find improvement," he said. "We'll have to look and see where the most pressing issues are and focus our attention there."
He also said there are plans to use existing funds to improve the front court and sidewalk area of the arena that includes replacing the aging concrete and installing a half-moon drop-off loop along the 8th Street side of the arena.
Sipe has been the general manager of the arena since 2010.
A study released earlier this year by Marshall University's Center for Business and Economic Research said the arena has a total financial output of $17 million annually for an eight-county region and sustains the equivalent of 190 full-time jobs.
That study was released shortly after the arena was included in Billboard Magazine's "New and Renovated Venues to Watch" list for 2013. The arena landed at No. 14 in a list of 17 venues across the country and the globe.
The arena has undergone a $4.6 million renovation during the past two years that includes new telescopic seating.
During its regular meeting Monday, city council members also will vote whether or not to separate its sanitation and trash division in to two separate divisions.
City leaders combined the trash and sanitation divisions in June, but Public Works Director said the consolidation of the divisions "has not been working out," and he recommended they be separated again.
Huntington City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday in City Council Chambers at Huntington City Hall, 800 5th Ave.
The Herald-Dispatch welcomes your comments on this article, but please be civil. Avoid profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, accusations of criminal activity, name-calling or insults to the other posters. Herald-dispatch.com does not control or monitor comments as they are posted, but if you find a comment offensive or uncivil, hover your mouse over the comment and click the X that appears in the upper right of the comment. If you do not want your comment to post to your personal Facebook page, uncheck the box below the comment.