Proposed Gregg County Coliseum Expected To Draw Thousands Of East Texans - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/29/08- Gregg County

Proposed Gregg County Coliseum Expected To Draw Thousands Of East Texans

A new Gregg County Coliseum is proposed next to Maude Cobb Activity Center in Longview. Today, the city presented the proposal to the county commission.

The two level coliseum would house an in-door rodeo, concerts, basketball and hockey games. The multi-purpose facility is expected to cost between $25 and $30 million, but officials say taxpayers won't have to pay extra in taxes. 

"We will not be raising county taxes to build this facility. I think that's extremely important for everyone to know--that we are not raising taxes to get this done," said Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt. 

For Gregg county taxpayers, the news of the county not having to raise taxes is a relief. "The area that I live has the highest tax rate around Gregg county. So, the fact that they're not going to raise the taxes to build this coliseum is definitely a plus," said Cathlein Nash, of Longview.  

With a seating capacity of 6,000 the coliseum would be able to host basketball and hockey games, an indoor rodeo, and big concerts.   

"We want to give the "George Straits", the "Kenny Chesneys", and some of those big types of acts an opportunity to come to Longview Texas, in Gregg County," said Longview Mayor Jay Dean.

 Sheri Vargis who is the co-owner of the "Salon Pink" in Longview, says she sees the benefits.  

"It would bring a lot of jobs and I  think it would be cool and bring a lot of celebrities to this area. I would love it,"said Vargis. 

Gregg County says they've set aside all the funds they'll need to pay for the coliseums construction. Over the next couple of months, the county and city will hold several public hearings before approving to build the facility.

If approved, county officials could break ground on the coliseum by mid-Spring of 2009.

LaKecia Shockley, Reporting lshockley@kltv.com  

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