On Thursday, Aug. 10, the City of Greensboro sent out a request for proposals (RFP) for a private company to run the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
The Coliseum is and has always been managed and operated by City of Greensboro employees and Coliseum Managing Director Matt Brown, who has for decades been the highest paid city employee.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that sending out the RFP was “part of Matt’s succession plan.”
Brown has been the managing director of the Coliseum since 1994, just short of 30 years, and during that time he has greatly expanded the facility, which now also includes The Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Greensboro. Also included in the Coliseum Complex, along with the 22,000-seat arena, are the Novant Health Fieldhouse, Greensboro Aquatic Center, White Oak Amphitheater, Odean Theater, Special Events Center, ACC Hall of Champions, The Terrace and Piedmont Hall. Listed on the RFP are two facilities that don’t currently exist – a proposed downtown music hall and a proposed Greensboro soccer stadium
The timeline for the RFP is tight, with the deadline for written proposals set for Aug. 29 and a vote by the City Council on Nov. 6. According to the RFP, the term of the contract would be seven years and would begin on July 1, 2024.
The Greensboro City Council has not held a work session or a public meeting on the RFP, but Vaughan said that between now and the scheduled vote in November, the City Council would either hold a work session or discuss the RFP at a public meeting.
City Councilmember Zack Matheny said about the proposal to have a private company operate the Coliseum Complex: “I know it has worked in other places, but there are a lot of questions that haven’t been answered.”
He added, “It’s rare to have a public entity manage a venue the size of the Coliseum Complex.”
Vaughan said, “I wouldn’t necessarily call this a done deal, but we decided to move forward with the RFP at this point.”