Sulphur, Louisiana Opens $4M Arena

Sat March 19, 2005 - West Edition

SULPHUR, LA (AP) Thirteen years after the Legislature created a board to design and build an arena, the $4-million arena opened with a religious-themed equestrian show.

The 100,000-sq.-ft. facility can host rodeos, festivals and concerts with an audience of 1,700.

Feb. 18, the Christian Horsemen Association held a tribute to American troops in conflicts abroad. The association’s rodeo opened Feb. 19.

“This is not a Sulphur facility,” State Rep. Ronnie Johns said at the ribbon-cutting for the West Calcasieu Community Center Arena. “This, in my eyes, is not just a West Calcasieu facility. This is for the people of Southwest Louisiana. Facilities like this bring our people together, and that’s what we ought to be doing.”

Money kept it from going up sooner; area voters refused to pay for it by increasing the property tax that runs the Burton Coliseum. It was built with state capital outlay money and local proceeds from the state’s hotel/motel head tax.

A $700,000 arena addition scheduled to be finished later this year will include a 120-horse-stall barn and more recreational vehicle hookups.

Construction could start within 18 months on a community center, with rooms for events such as meetings, weddings and fund-raisers, board member George Vincent said. However, it’s expected to cost between $6 million and $7 million, and the money is not in place, he said.