August 17, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Agriculture and Industries, Department of

Garrett Coliseum's future brighter as Agriculture Center Redevelopment

MONTGOMERY, Alabama . . . Garrett Coliseum, for 60 years a venue for major attractions coming to the local area, will remain open for business, thanks to an agreement reached today.

 

“This fine lady has been a good friend to the people of Alabama, hosting the fair, rodeos, concerts and even Elvis Presley, since 1951,” said Commissioner John McMillan of the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries. “Today, we have taken steps to see that she will remain in good working order and may even receive a face lift and other help in the near term.”

 

“A number of options to revive the coliseum are now being discussed. In the interim, the Alabama National Fair has graciously agreed to operate the coliseum,” McMillan added.

 

The State Agriculture Commissioner chairs the Agriculture Center Redevelopment Board, created by legislation passed earlier this year. The new legislation expanded the Agriculture Center Board to include the Governor, State Finance Director, Commissioner of Agriculture, Mayor of Montgomery, President of the Montgomery City Council, County Commission Chair plus four others who currently sit on the Agriculture Center Board.

 

“The legislation brought together all stakeholders necessary for Garrett Coliseum to be successful. All who have a vested interest in the coliseum are involved and committed to its success,” said McMillan

 

McMillan thanks State Rep. Joe Hubbard and State Sen. Dick Brewbaker, both of Montgomery, for sponsoring legislation to create the redevelopment corporation which has the authority to move forward with an action to ensure the viability of Garrett Coliseum.

 

Every effort is being made to accommodate the schedule of previously scheduled events, including the fair, which will be held in October, according to McMillan.

 

“I want to thank Governor Robert Bentley and Finance Director David Perry for providing funds when we needed them. Thank you, Mayor Todd Strange, City Council President Charles Jinwright, and County Commission Chairman Elton Dean for being a driving force in reaching this agreement. Also, I want to express my appreciation to the Alabama National Fair Board and Kiwanis Club of Montgomery for stepping up and taking on a major responsibility at this important time,” McMillan said.

 

Earlier this year, Governor Bentley appointed McMillan and four others to the Agriculture Center Board, including:  Baldwin County farmer Becky Vasko, Limestone County Probate Judge Stan McDonald, Birmingham attorney Julian Smith, and Dr. Billy Powell of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association.

 

Facts about Garrett Coliseum:

 

Opened in 1951…31,000 square feet…13,500 seating capacity…20-acre paved parking lot…livestock barn…W.O. Crawford covered outdoor arena…Ed Teague outdoor arena …swine barn …dairy barn …exhibit building.

 

 

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Contact:

Brett C. Hall

Deputy Commissioner

Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries

1445 Federal Drive

Montgomery, Alabama  36107

334-240-7101



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