Rapides To Get Overhaul

The  in Alexandria, La., is expected to be shuttered, then stripped to the bone, next winter to accommodate $23 million in improvements.

Voters approved a bond, backed by a property tax, in November that would essentially build a new arena on the location of the old one.

Photo: facebook.com/pages/Rapides-Parish-Coliseum/315587768472274
A rendering of the new Rapides Parish Coliseum. 

Voters also passed a tax to pay for coliseum operations over the next 20 years. Improvements include a new exterior, new seating and an expanded capacity to more than 10,000, skyboxes, doubling of the parking area, new light, sound, video, stages, dressing rooms, basketball court, bathrooms, heating and air, according to The Town Talk.

“We feel good about it,” said Jay Lynch of the architectural firm that designed the new version. “We’ve made a lot of progress. We’ve visited comparable facilities in Shreveport, Lafayette and Baton Rouge and came back with a wealth of information we can bring to the project.”

The nearly 50-year-old Rapides has struggled financially. Last year it hosted Willie Nelson, Future and Plies, among other performers.