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Glens Falls Seeks Sale Of Civic Center

Glens Falls City Hall
Courtesy CityofGlensFalls.com
Glens Falls City Hall

Officials in Glens Falls have announced plans to sell the longtime city-owned arena.

The Glens Falls Civic Center will be up for sale. City officials announced this week that the publicly-owned arena built in 1979 will be headed to auction possibly later this summer.

With an asking price of $1.5 million, the aging building is no longer something the city can support by itself, according to Glens Falls Mayor “Jack” Diamond, speaking with Time Warner Cable News.

“We want to be competitive trying to recruit businesses here, we just can’t go it alone anymore, so it’s time to check and see what value that building brings up on the market,” said Diamond.

This is the not the first time the mayor has brought up Glens Falls’ giving up ownership of the 4,794-seat building.

In his January State of the City address, Diamond suggested the Civic Center operate on a regional basis with other local governments.

Diamond previously told WAMC he was interested in establishing a regional authority to operate the Civic Center.

“If you look at other buildings similar to ours, they all run on a larger mass of people, such as an authority,” said Diamond.

The Civic Center is managed by company Global Spectrum. Any sale of the building would have to honor their contract.

“Whether the city decides to still own the building or there’s somebody new in here, then we’ll work with whosever in charge,” said Jeremy Huelsing, Civic Center General Manager. 

Any new owner would also have to honor the Civic Center as the home of the Adirondack Flames, Glens Falls’ new American Hockey League team that will play its first game this fall.

In an email to WAMC, Flames president Brian Petrovek said he was pleased the city is seeking a private owner to take control of the arena, and that tax savings could help the Glens Falls community.

However, Petrovek said he feared a public auction could “jeopardize” the objectives of the hockey team. Petrovek wrote that he has a “keen interest in growing our business beyond operating an AHL franchise and that has included, under the right circumstances, Civic Center management and ownership.”

Petrovek said his company hopes to partner with local builder Rich Schermerhorn, who this week submitted a bid to purchase the Civic Center.

The Adirondack Flames are under contract to play at the Civic Center for the next three seasons.

On July 8th the Glens Falls Common Council will vote on a measure to approve the Civic Center be sold by public auction.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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