Saving the Halls of Fame

Yet another group in Macon is intent on saving the Halls of Fame.

Five private citizens will lead a Bibb County-Macon government partnership to help keep the music and sports halls of fame here.
Key to the plan: Revitalizing fundraising efforts and building new partnerships that could match local taxpayers’ money to greater sources of revenue. Advocates also want to drastically increase attendance. In a month, Georgia is expected to solicit proposals for the halls, which have required hefty state subsidies since they opened. Proposals will likely be due at the end of this year.

The Sports Hall of Fame got 10,000 visitors all of last year with your tax dollars keeping the lights on.

It makes sense for Macon to have the Music Hall of Fame. The Allman Brothers, Otis Redding, Little Richard, James Brown — they’re all from Macon.

But the Sports Hall of Fame? Send it to Athens.

18 comments

  1. Bill Knowles says:

    They should put the Tubman, Sports HOF and Music HOF all together in the new Tubman building, close the other two and combine the staffs of all three. They could then sell the other two buildings to either retailers or restaurants and make a mall type of atmosphere in the downtown area. This would be a win-win for everyone: Macon keeps the Halls and Tubman with combined funding plus gets more tourist types of attractions downtown.

  2. ACCmoderate says:

    Erick, I hate to dent your civic pride, but James Brown is from Augusta.

    I think the music hall of fame would be a good fit in Athens as well. Macon stopped churning out great acts long ago. Athens has the strongest and most diverse music scene in the entire state. Flagpole Magazine had an interesting piece on how to integrate the museum into the Athens music community by adding recording studios, practice spaces, etc.

    At the end of the day, both museums need to be in a place that people actually want to visit, I’m not saying that Athens is that place, but it sure aint Macon. If you put them in Atlanta, at least you’d get some foot traffic.

    • Erick says:

      Oh no, he was born in Macon. But then his parents separated and he was taken to Augusta. His house is probably going to get bulldozed when they expand the interstate in Macon.

    • ACCmoderate says:

      With the arrival of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Black College Football Hall of Fame, I think the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame would make a great fit in Atlanta.

      I’m not sure what the purpose of the museum of patriotism was, I don’t think it appealed to the types of consumers you see walking around that section of town.

      • Bill Knowles says:

        10 million visitors right across the street over the last 4 years should have generated enough traffic to keep the doors open.

        • ACCmoderate says:

          Seeing how well the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke have done, I would argue that maybe its the content of the “Museum of Patriotism” that did it in, not lack of people.
          Foot traffic is meaningless when you don’t have an appealing product to sell.

          The Halls of Fame in Macon don’t have that problem. They have a potentially appealing product, its just located in a place that no one wants to visit. The Halls aren’t a big enough draw to convince people to hop in their cars and drive to Macon. I personally have no qualms with the city, it just isn’t a “destination”.

          Putting the Halls in Atlanta would put them in closer proximity to areas frequented by tourists and potentially drive up attendance by placing them closer to foot traffic. I think that both Halls have a product with wide appeal (unlike the Museum of Patriotism) and wouldn’t suffer the same fate as the MoP.

          I think that the Halls could also succeed in Athens, a city that does a sizeable amount of convention business in addition to 6 or 7 game weekends per year. The music scene in Athens is something that could be well integrated into the Music Hall of Fame, making it more than just a museum. Isn’t the Sports Hall of Fame just an extension of Butts-Mehre anyway?

          • Bill Knowles says:

            Downsize them and keep them in the midstate. Just because the city isn’t a destination of tourism, doesn’t mean with a little TLC it couldn’t be. The problem with Macon is the shortsighted thinking of most of the leaders, past and present. ( Herr Erickson, Nancy White, sometimes the good Rabbi, sometimes Mayor Reichert, Cecil Staton, Allen Peake and Bubber Epps excluded.)

            Unfortunately, the errors of the past of C. Jack Hakeem Abdul Jabbar Ellis, The Lucas Pair, Robert Brown and the assorted other clowns on City Council and the County Commission have done so much damage to our city, our economy and our reputation we don’t need anything else to further our demise, such as losing both halls.

    • Chris says:

      After electing a half-black, islamic Kenyan from Indonesia who studied under Josef Stalin to the office of President, I think it is safe to say patriotism is deal.

      Sharks however, will always be popular. They are one of the few species who can stomach eating lawyers

  3. Jawgadude says:

    Move’em all to Cartersville. Those folks know how to run museums. The Booth Western Art Museum and the Tellus Science Museum are both world class and are incredibly successful.

  4. Erik,

    Part of the problem is the perceived (and often real) crime problem in Macon. Smalltown people in Mid Georgia avoid downtown Macon unless necessary (as do a lot of people from north Macon).

    To keep the museums and build up Macon’s downtown is going to require a real reduction in violent crime and an excellent marketing campaign to increase patronage.

    There is good entertainment and excellent food in downtown Macon that could be well attended – IF people feel safe.

  5. Bill Knowles says:

    Agreed Ken. We should have cops on horseback, segways, rollerskates; whatever it takes. Take the thugs out of Macon and bring the people in who can enjoy what we have to offer.

  6. DMZDave says:

    A Music Hall of Fame in Macon is simply never going to make it. You walk around downtown Macon and it is a city with great bones and has a lot of potential but until you have significant numbers of people living downtown and keeping it vibrant at night, you can’t get there from here. And you have to know that isn’t going to happen. Macon should be doing some loving on Mercer and do whatever it takes to keep them happy because that is pretty much all Macon has going on.

    Georgia is the Peach State and Atlanta may be the pit but a cool Hall (sports or music) near the Aquarium and the World of Coke would be a big hit and they could leverage both the Tabernacle and Phillips Arena as well as putting on some great open air shows to showcase Georgia talent.

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