Second reading for auditorium/coliseum special election ordinance set for Feb. 8

Second reading for auditorium/coliseum special election ordinance set for Feb. 8
Lubbock Municipal Auditorium and Coliseum (Source: City of Lubbock)

Provided by City of Lubbock

During the February 8, 2018 meeting, the Lubbock City Council will consider the 2nd Reading of an Ordinance to call a Special Election on May 5, 2018. This election would give citizens the opportunity to vote for or against authorization to abandon the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium and Coliseum.

In 1961, the citizens of Lubbock voted to amend the City Charter to state: "The City of Lubbock shall not permanently abandon the land, or buildings used and known as the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium-Coliseum, unless such abandonment is authorized by a majority vote of the qualified tax paying voters at a general or special election held in accordance with the law."

"In light of the City's nearly $700,000 annual operating loss and millions of dollars in deferred maintenance projects on the Auditorium and Coliseum, and with exciting, new venues in Lubbock, these facilities have outlived their useful life," Mayor Dan Pope said. "I suggest now is the time to ask our citizens for permission to abandon the facility and to work in cooperation with Texas Tech University to transfer the property."

Should citizens approve abandonment, the property reverts back to Texas Tech University. State law required the original transfer of land to contain a reversion clause to the effect that if the City permanently abandoned use of the structure and land for the auditorium-coliseum, the title to the property would revert back to Texas Tech University.

"The Lubbock Municipal Auditorium and Coliseum is located on an important piece of property on the north end of the Texas Tech University campus," Texas Tech University President Lawrence Schovanec said. "If the citizens of Lubbock decide to return it to the university, we will gratefully accept it and incorporate this location for future use as part of our master plan as we grow to meet the future needs of our students, faculty and staff."

Should abandonment be approved, negotiations to determine a mutually agreeable date to transfer the property would continue. Pending approval by the Board of Regents, Texas Tech would pay for building demolition. A decision has not been made about how Texas Tech could utilize the property, but University leaders have told the City there are no plans to make it solely a parking lot or parking structure. However, there could be a parking component to any structure that could be built on the site.