City council pushes fate of Lubbock Municipal Auditorium-Coliseum closer to hands of voters

City council pushes fate of Lubbock Municipal Auditorium-Coliseum closer to hands of voters
Lubbock Municipal Auditorium and Coliseum (Source: City of Lubbock)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock City Council Thursday voted for the first time to approve an ordinance to order a Special Election for citizens to vote for or against authorization for the City to abandon the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium-Coliseum.

Thursday's vote comes as city leaders feel it's time to cease operations of the facilities.

The Council heard a presentation at the meeting in which it showed the city has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating costs for at least the last 18 years.

The property the facilities sit on was conveyed to the City of Lubbock from Texas Tech University in 1943 with House Bill 478. The City's charter includes a reference to the property and facilities, stating only a majority of Lubbock voters can decide if the city should have the authority to abandon the buildings.

In that scenario, the property will revert back to Texas Tech University. The University has refrained from comment until the city makes a decision on the matter.

In Thursday's meeting, Mayor Pope said his only concern is what the city will do to cooperate with other public and community groups to help provide home for dirt events. This comes as organizations such as the ABC Rodeo have expressed frustration with the possible abandonment, citing a lack of dirt-event facilities in Lubbock.

Council members have pointed to the United Supermarkets Arena and future Buddy Holly Hall to house events previously held in the coliseum and auditorium.

The ordinance will need to be approved in a second reading.

The election will be held in May of 2018.

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