Rapides Parish Coliseum
|Rapides Coliseum, The Coliseum|
|Location||5600 Coliseum Boulevard
Alexandria, Louisiana 71303
Future Expansion: 10,800
|Architect||Buddy Tudor, Tudor Construction Company|
The Rapides Parish Coliseum (often called the Rapides Coliseum, as noted on the sign out front) is a multi-purpose arena located in Alexandria, Louisiana. The coliseum can seat about 6,500 people in the 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) building. Additional space is in the smaller Exhibition Hall, also on the property. Built in 1965 by Buddy Tudor's family-owned construction company in Pineville, Louisiana, the dome-topped Coliseum has hosted thousands of events, including music concerts, "monster" truck shows, professional wrestling, trade shows and sporting events.
Additional facilities on the grounds include a 23,000-square-foot (2,100 m2) Exhibition Hall often used for trade shows and the 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) Lewis-Odom Agricultural Complex used during livestock auctions and 4-H shows.
Located on Louisiana Highway 28 West in Alexandria, La., with parking for nearly 2000 vehicles, the Coliseum was home to the annual Rapides Parish Fair every October; the fair will move to the LSU AgCenter in Alexandria starting in 2014.
Some of the site's more famous visitors include Lipizzan stallions (1973), Elvis Presley (1977), Holiday on Ice, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (1966), Ronald Reagan (1975), George C. Wallace, Jr. (1976).
Recent events staged at the site include the Barnum and Bailey Circus on Dec. 2, 2008, World Wrestling Entertainment in January 2009, and the Gaither Homecoming Tour on March 7, 2009.
It has also hosted the LHSAA Girl's Basketball Championships.
In October 2008, a report  was produced for the Rapides Parish Police Jury that estimates the total cost of repairs and needed updates to be $10 million.
On November 6, 2012, Rapides Parish voters approved a $23 million bond issue back by a 2.5-million property tax for the Coliseum. Also approved was a one-million tax to pay for the coliseum maintenance and operations for a period of 20 years. The $23 million taxes will pay for renovation projects that include an expanded seating capacity to 10,800, new 3-story lobby, sky boxes, and exhibition hall, improved electrical systems and roofing, new rest rooms, stages, dressing rooms, and a basketball floor, and a rebuilt 2,500 lot parking space. The new coliseum is design to give it a modern appeal and attract larger events for the Rapides Parish area.
As of November 2012, the project is in its final planning and processing stages. The process could take up to a few months to a year to conduct. Construction is expected to take two years and be completed sometime in 2015.