As we have said before in this space, we support dialogue within the city about future management of our community's signature entertainment venue, the Tyson Events Center.
At this point, we aren't prepared to advocate for change from public to private management of Tyson, but we believe the process of study under way is constructive. From discussion of parking, to building improvements, to management, the goal of a stronger Tyson should be a shared local priority - this year and in future years.
A committee formed by city government will evaluate three proposals - one from Events Facilities Department staff, two from private companies - and make a recommendation to the City Council later this month. (The private firms are Ames, Iowa, based VenuWorks and Philadelphia-based Spectra.)
Like you, we know little about the three proposals to this point, but a meeting of the City Council and Events Facilities Board on Aug. 25 produced intriguing information about one component of the proposal for continued public management of Tyson.
At the meeting, Events Facilities Department Director Erika Newton discussed an offer by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to hold at least six concerts at the Tyson each year.
"That might change the whole dynamic of what we are looking at ... That really is a game-changer," Councilman Dan Moore said at the meeting.
Our opinion of the offer? We commend Hard Rock for what we believe is another example of its strong corporate citizenship. In our view, healthy ties between the Tyson and Hard Rock benefit both places. Might Hard Rock consider a similar partnership with a private management firm? It's a question at least worth asking by the committee evaluating the proposals.
We commend the city for the deliberative process undertaken this summer to answer important questions about what is a key piece of our community.
Along with the general public, we look forward with interest to hearing results of the committee evaluation and discussion within the City Council of how to make the Tyson of today even better for tomorrow.