Improvements Made at Montgomery's Garrett Coliseum


By Tamika Bickham

Garrett Coliseum's largest event of the year is just one month away, the Alabama National Fair. Improvements are underway at the facility to boost this years' experience.

They are clearing the way for progress and improvements at Montgomery's Garrett Coliseum, a longtime fixture in the community.

"I want to say it's been a part of my life, but from a young man up until now, there's always been things there such as the fair," said Montgomery resident, David Powell.

"When I was a kid I saw Elvis. I've been to the rodeo, fair," said Troy Tillerson.

Tillerson says he hasn't been there in years and it's for a reason.

"Pretty run down, just to be honest, it's kind of an eyesore," said Tillerson.

Randy Stevenson says they are working on changing that perception. Stevenson is the general manager of the Alabama National Fair, an event put on by the Kiwanis Club. The Kiwanis Club manages the Coliseum and is helping to give it a facelift.

"We've pressure-washed and painted the whole outside of the building. The Kiwanis Club members have come in and done a whole lot of work," said Stevenson.

Stevenson also says he hopes that entire surface of the North Parking Lot will be resealed and repainted.

"It's going to cost about 35,000 dollars to reseal it and restripe it and get the potholes fixed," he said.

That money mainly comes from event revenue. So without support from the community, Stevenson says improvements like new lights and freshly painted walls, won't be possible.

"There is no other place in Montgomery that can house 10,000 people for an event. That's the one thing that Montgomery needs," said Stevenson.

The Alabama National Fair will return on October 5th. It's a 10-day event that typically sees about 200,000 people.