Matt Dunham/associated press
Musicians performing in the hometown of James Brown may soon be getting a reminder that they’re in the stomping grounds of the Godfather of Soul.
The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority in Augusta, Ga., voted this week to rename the venue’s 8,500-seat arena the James Brown Arena.
“I thank God and all the people there,” said Brown, 73, who lives near his hometown. “We want to build back Augusta.”
Augusta also has erected a statue and named a street and music festival in his honour. The name change is pending legal research to verify that the board has the authority to rename the facility.
J.R. Riles, whose motion led to the 5-2 vote, said the tribute would help improve the struggling civic centre’s public image.
The idea to name the arena after Brown had been discussed for several years, but got little traction until now.
While city leaders have sought to promote the town through Brown’s celebrity, local support for the performer has been hit and miss in the past.
A 2000 concert in the venue that soon might bear his name sold only 1,700 tickets.