WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Wake Forest University has contracted the Greensboro Coliseum Complex to book and manage external events at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum and other University athletic venues, effective immediately, the school announced during a news conference on Thursday.
The five-year agreement allows the Greensboro Coliseum Complex to handle booking, ticketing, and marketing services for all non-Wake Forest University athletic events at LJVM.
“Our partnership with the Greensboro Coliseum Complex will ensure that Triad-area residents continue to have a wide array of quality entertainment options at the Joel Coliseum,” said Wake Forest University Director of Athletics Ron Wellman. “By partnering with a successful coliseum such as the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, we will gain immediate credibility and security as we move into the booking of entertainment acts. We feel our collaboration will benefit all Winston-Salem and Triad residents.”
Back in May, the Winston-Salem city council approved the sale of the Joel Coliseum and 33 surrounding acres to Wake Forest University for $8 million.
The sale was completed on August 1.
“This agreement will ensure that the Piedmont Triad region will be given every opportunity to host as many live events as possible,” said Matt Brown, managing director of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. “It ensures the citizens of Winston-Salem will continue to be able to enjoy the traditional events at Lawrence Joel Coliseum that they have attended in the past, while also allowing our booking department to have additional venue options to offer promoters for upcoming events. This increased flexibility will hopefully result in more live entertainment events in the Triad, creating a win-win situation for residents of our region.”
The agreement also allows the potential for the Greensboro Coliseum Complex to book non-athletic events at other Wake Forest facilities such as BB&T Field, Wake Forest Baseball Park and the Wake Forest Tennis Complex
In August, Ron Wellman, Wake Forest Athletic Director, said the university will first start with major infrastructure improvements at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum that could cost more than $10 million.
“There are a number of matters that need to be addressed or improved, whether it be electrical or plumbing, its first those types of issues that people won’t notice a lot. We will be taking a lot of time and a lot of dollars to improve the facility and it’s systems,” said Wellman.
While Wellman would not say how much Wake Forest plans to spend, he said those repairs will begin soon.
Also changing immediately, the indoor concessions. Wake Forest has hired Ovations Food Services to take over all food service at all of it’s venues.
“The concession stands are going to be different we do know that and they are going to be upgraded rather significantly with Ovations being our catering and concessions vendor now,” said Wellman.
Wellman said his staff will spend the next year studying other changes like parking, traffic flow, paint schemes and seating.
Wellman says there is some interest in looking at overall capacity and figuring out ways to reduce the number of suites, while adding more club style seating.
“People want different opportunities today, right now we don’t have many different opportunities in the coliseum,” said Wellman.
Wellman said one important change will be “Deaconizing” the facility.
“Our colors are black and gold and you will see those colors emerge as a part of the branding opportunities we have with this facility. We want to tie it in with BB&T Field and Deacon Tower, the tennis stadium, Bridger Field House and the baseball park.”