Convocation Center management contract not renewed by U.S.C. Aiken

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – An event venue in Aiken will start the new year under new management.

Spectra, by Comcast Spectator, currently runs the University of South Carolina Aiken Convocation Center.

WJBF NewsChannel 6 has learned this week the university decided not to renew the contract.

The 4,000 seat arena has hosted presidential candidates, the Harlem Globetrotters and even country music superstar Lady Antebellum.

While also being the designated athlete study center for the University of South Carolina Aiken.

The Convocation Center has been managed by Spectra for the last decade in conjunction with U.S.C.A.

Director of Venue Management Josh Small says he believes it’s been a successful partnership.

Since he took over in 2013, Spectra has operated within the budget set by the university.

“It’s kind of common misconception among the public that buildings like this are going to make a bunch of money.” Small told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “A lot of time the amount of money that you can get from rentals and revenues do not exceed what the actual expenses of the building are.”

However, Small says his team has made nearly $60,000 dollars, over 4 years, on events they’ve booked at the Convocation Center.

Now that Spectra’s contract wasn’t extended, the university has decided to run the arena itself.

“What was their reasoning? What did they say to you?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“In terms of the contract? They just let us know that they would not be renewing it at the end of the term.” Small said.

U.S.C.A. Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan tells NewsChannel 6 the university is exploring ways to increase efficiency.

“To that end, this week I notified Spectra that the contract we have with them for the Convocation Center will not be renewed when it expires the end of this year. The Spectra team has been a tremendous partner with the university. We are grateful for their support. At this time, we believe we have the infrastructure in place, with key leaders in critical positions, to organically assume the management of the Convocation Center, without the need for a third-party management agreement. This transition should be transparent to the campus community and our Convocation Center partners who have been notified of this approach.”

On December 31st, 2017, Spectra will be handing over operation of the Convocation Center back to the Pacers.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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