City, Wake Forest to keep Lawrence Joel name on coliseum

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.–The city of Winston-Salem and Wake Forest University agreed Friday to keep the Lawrence Joel name and the designation as a memorial for veterans on the coliseum façade and on its marquee as part of any sale of Joel Coliseum to Wake Forest.

This is in addition to Wake Forest’s previous agreement to name the lobby and the adjacent veterans’ monuments as the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Lobby and Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Plaza, the city said in a news release.

Wake Forest University has agreed to include these provisions into recorded deed restrictions approved with any sale.

The restrictions would apply to the permanent sign at the current main entrance, to any replacement marquis and to the current coliseum building, where Joel’s name is carved in the stone facade above the box office.

The city says it has the right to consider future enhancements to the veterans memorial and to explore other ways to recognize Lawrence Joel’s and all veterans’ contributions to Winston-Salem, either at the coliseum or as a stand-alone memorial.

Wake Forest has agreed to donate up to one acre at the coliseum site for this purpose if the City Council elects to create a new veterans memorial. Wake Forest may pursue naming rights, but the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial designation will remain on the facade and marquee.

“The Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial name will continue to be etched in stone at the coliseum, and the recognition that the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Lobby and Plaza remains on this property illustrates the city’s and Wake Forest University’s commitment to the heritage and legacy of Mr. Joel and our veterans,”  Mayor Allen Joines said.

“I have made it clear that the city’s commitment to addressing concerns about how Mr. Joel will be recognized was unwavering and would not be compromised. I am pleased our voice has been heard,” said Council Member and Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke, who voted to name the coliseum for Joel in 1986.