Rapides Parish Coliseum

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Rapides Parish Coliseum
Rapides Coliseum, The Coliseum
Rapides Coliseum as of November 2012
Location 5600 Coliseum Boulevard
Alexandria, Louisiana 71303
Coordinates 31°17′48″N 92°30′13″W / 31.29667°N 92.50361°W / 31.29667; -92.50361Coordinates: 31°17′48″N 92°30′13″W / 31.29667°N 92.50361°W / 31.29667; -92.50361
Owner Coliseum Authority
Capacity Current: 6,512
Future Expansion: 10,800[1]
Construction
Opened 1965
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.

Rapides Coliseum - Nov 2008
Rapides Coliseum Exhibition Hall - Nov 2008
Lewis-Odom Agricultural Complex - Nov 2008

Events[edit]

Former Sports[edit]

Past sports teams based at the Rapides Coliseum include the Louisiana Rangers, a member of the IPFL, and the Alexandria Warthogs, a member of the WPHL.

Other Events[edit]

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).

In 2005 the facility was used as a shelter by the American Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina and during Hurricane Rita. It was during Rita that it lost power and water for a short period of time.[1]

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 [2] was produced for the Rapides Parish Police Jury that estimates the total cost of repairs and needed updates to be $10 million.

Future Renovations[edit]

On November 6, 2012, Rapides Parish voters approved a $23 million bond issue back by a 2.5-million property tax for the Coliseum.[2] 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.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rapides Parish Arena & Exhibition Center". 2010–2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Voters approve tax to renovate Rapides Coliseum". 7 November 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Renovated Rapides Coliseum could open in 2015". 8 November 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.