LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - City Council members Steve Massengale and Jeff Griffith gave KCBD a tour of the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium and Coliseum Wednesday.
This comes before a May 5 city vote that will determine the fate of the buildings: either keep them or turn them over to Texas Tech, putting the future of the ABC Rodeo and other dirt events in question. Although, Texas Tech did say they wouldn't tear down the buildings until after the 2019 ABC Pro Rodeo if they did take over.
The council members believe that the Auditorium and Coliseum, opened in 1956, is no longer needed by the city.
"This facility has served its purpose. It's been very useful for many years, but it's really outlived its useful life. It's done a great job for what it was used for," Massengale said.
During our tour of the facilities, Massengale pointed out many upgrades and repairs that are needed but that he believes aren't worth it: Things such as air handler replacements in the auditorium, upgrading auditorium seats, and many features that aren't ADA compliant in both the Auditorium and Coliseum.
Many residents opposed to turning over the buildings to Texas Tech cite the history of the Auditorium & Coliseum and believe they could have been kept from getting in such rough shape.
Regardless of the vote, the council members don't plan to pour more money into the facilities, as they believe there aren't enough events hosted to make financial sense. Massengale told KCBD that there won't be much need for the Auditorium when the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences is opened in 2020.
The most pressing issue seems to be the need for a dirt event center to host the ABC Rodeo and other dirt events. Councilman Griffith is hopeful that situation will be resolved sooner rather than later.
"I mean we for sure have another rodeo next year. It isn't our last rodeo. The big thing is, I think the community and the partnerships will happen to develop a proper dirt facility. This was never built for dirt."