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City approves $16 million for Bojangles’ Coliseum renovations

The Charlotte City Council voted 10-1 Monday to approve $16 million in renovations to Bojangles’ Coliseum, which includes $4 million specifically for the Charlotte Checkers minor-league hockey team.

The Checkers will move to Bojangles’ from Time Warner Cable Arena for the 2015-16 season. The city plans to install ice-making equipment for the building, replace the seats and install a new scoreboard, among other improvements.

The money for the renovations will come from the city’s hotel/motel occupancy taxes and a tax on prepared food and beverages.

This is the city’s first subsidy for the Checkers. Council member Kenny Smith voted no.

The city has said the arena and neighboring Ovens Auditorium lose about $500,000 a year. The city has said that the Checkers will pay the city rent, allowing Charlotte to recoup its $4 million after about 7 years.

The city had previously planned to spend $12 million upgrading the 1950s-era building.

Charlotte hopes to partner with a developer to build an amateur sports complex and hotel on the parking lot next to the Coliseum. But the developer, Florida-based GoodSports, hasn’t been able to secure financing yet.

The city said Monday it has about $40 million in debt capacity left in its Convention Center fund, which will fund the Bojangles’ renovations. After the renovations, the city will have about $24 million left.

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