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County committee accepts framework for new multipurpose event center


The Cumberland County Crown Event Center Committee is moving forward on the project framework for a proposed multipurpose event center to replace the aging Crown Theatre and Crown Arena.

The committee voted April 20 to accept the project framework presented by the county’s consultant for the site selection, design and construction of the new multipurpose event center.

The consulting firm MBP outlined the proposed framework for the project.

“The public is using taxpayers’ money, citizens’ money and the public needs to be provided with top-notch stars at a great facility,” said Commissioner Jeannette Council, the chairwoman of the Crown Event Center Committee.

The county is looking to build an 89,000-square-foot center with a maximum capacity of 2,500 for events such as concerts, comedy shows, Broadway performances and other events.

The estimated cost in 2021 dollars was $75 million to $80 million. That does not include the purchase of a site, the county said in a release. The county would like it to open in fall 2025.

The theater and arena are expected to close in November 2025.

Spectra Venue Management, which manages the Crown Complex for the county, hired Conventions, Sports and Leisure International in January 2020 to conduct a feasibility study related to replacing the two aging facilities.

“The consultant studied the regional market, similar facilities and communities and gathered feedback from public input forums, interviews with key stakeholders and an online public survey,” the county said in the release.

The research showed that people want a sustainable venue that brings top events and provides space for community users, the county said.

During the April 20 meeting, commissioners expressed interest in making sure the project is completed by the October 2025 deadline, obtaining an updated cost estimate and ensuring the public has sufficient input, the release said.

The Board of Commissioners is expected to discuss the project during its regular meeting on Monday. That meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. in room 118 of the Cumberland County Courthouse.

Staff writer Michael Futch contributed to this report.

Cumberland County, Board of Commissioners, multipurpose event center, Crown Arena, Crown Theatre