City Council votes to allow citizens to decide on auditorium, coliseum abandonment

The City Bank Coliseum is illuminated by a setting sun on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018.

The Proposition A vote, which will allow citizens to decide on the fate of the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum and Auditorium, will be made final on Saturday, May 5.

As early voting in municipal and school elections is still underway and will close on Tuesday, May 1, citizens are heading to the polls and have the power to either allow the city to abandon the facility or to keep it.

With this in mind, Robert Duncan, Texas Tech System chancellor, has released a letter to students, faculty and staff within the system on the plan for the area.

This proposition allows the city to relinquish the facility to Tech, because it is located on the university's property, he wrote. Getting that land back would help in the needs of the campus in regards to the master plan as well.

"The current facility is outdated, is cost prohibitive to maintain or refurbish with unknown levels of asbestos and compliance issues, and other options in the city have becomes preferred venues for the event," Duncan wrote.

The plan for system at the moment is to be as flexible as possible in hosting events until a final decision is made, he wrote. But the system has already been in contact with the city and has agreed to shoulder demolition costs should citizens vote to abandon the building.

"While the Coliseum and Auditorium have been a significant part of our history, the cost of improving and maintaining the facility has become unmanageable for the City of Lubbock," Duncan wrote. "The land it occupies is in a key area of the Texas Tech campus and could be better utilized for our future growth."

The Daily Toreador has more information in regards to the proposition vote, that can be found here: With second reading looming, mayor, councilman speak about municipal auditorium, coliseum

The entire letter text reads as follows:

TTU System Colleagues:

As many of you are aware, Proposition A, an important issue related to Texas Tech University, is being voted on in the upcoming May 5 city election. The proposition presents the opportunity to enhance our flagship campus while supporting the City of Lubbock in the process.

When the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium and Coliseum was constructed, the land and parking lot for the facility were given to the city at no cost, but remained subject to reversion to Texas Tech University if the city abandons the facility. The city cannot sell the property to a third party.

If approved, Proposition A would authorize the city to relinquish the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium and Coliseum to Texas Tech University. Gaining back this valuable property would support an important piece of the university’s master plan as the campus grows to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff and the community. The current facility is outdated, is cost prohibitive to maintain or refurbish with unknown levels of asbestos and compliance issues, and other options in the city have become preferred venues for events.

We have been in contact with city leadership and have agreed to shoulder demolition costs and be as flexible as possible in hosting events until a final decision is made regarding the use of the property.

While the Coliseum and Auditorium have been a significant part of our history, the cost of improving and maintaining the facility has become unmanageable for the City of Lubbock. The land it occupies is in a key area of the Texas Tech campus and could be better utilized for our future growth.

Below is a link to information from the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce encouraging Lubbock citizens to support Proposition A.

http://www.lubbockchamber.com/vote-for-the-responsible-way-forward

Election Day is Saturday, May 5. Early voting continues through Tuesday, May 1. For early voting and Election Day voting locations, visit the following links:

Early Voting Locations - https://www.votelubbock.org/election-information/early-voting-information/early-voting-locations-cities-and-schools-elections/

Election Day Voting Locations - https://www.votelubbock.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/May-2018-Cities-Schools-Vote-Center-Locations.pdf

Thank you for your support, as always.

Yours very truly,

Robert Duncan

Chancellor

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