County events center taking shape

Construction on the $6-million Curry County special events center is expected to start soon. (Courtesy illustration)

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer

The parcel of land located on the west side of the Curry County Fairgrounds will soon be home to a $6 million covered events center.

The county Fair Board purchased the land in the early 1980s for possible future expansion projects, according to multi-purpose event center committee member Wilma Fulgham. Fulgham said talk of constructing an indoor arena on the location began about 15 years ago when she was a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

“Over the years, several individuals and members on the city, county, state and federal levels have devoted time and effort to obtain funding and plan toward the project,” Fulgham said.

Curry County Manager Dick Smith said construction bids will be opened in four months. Once building begins, Smith estimates the project will be completed within a year. The Special Events Center will create approximately 20 full-time jobs, Smith said, and after becoming fully functional bring between $50 million and $100 million in revenue to Curry County.

The metal structure will feature two flooring options to accommodate different events, Smith said. A dirt floor will be used for equestrian events, and a hard, snap-together floor will be installed for concert-type events. The center will seat up to 6,500, officials said.

In addition to rodeos, horse and livestock shows, residents can anticipate possible events such as monster truck shows, motocross, concerts and dog shows, according to Smith.

“This will truly be a multi-user facility,” Smith said.

Special Events Center
By the Numbers
3,500 — permanent seats
3,000 — additional removable floor seating
6 million — dollars allocated to construct building and parking lot
1,000 — parking spaces
12 — months of construction will take to complete
62 — stalls in the ladies restroom

What they’re saying
“I have been looking forward to Clovis having an indoor arena for many, many years. We used to have big horse shows here (Clovis) … and this enclosed arena would bring those types of shows back to Clovis … as well as dog shows, cat shows and even poultry shows.”
— Multi-purpose Event Center committee member Gloria Wicker

“I am very excited about this project. I think it’s a value for the money and will be a usable facility.”
— Curry County Manager Dick Smith

“This events center will be a definite asset (to Curry County). There have been many inquiries about possible events that could be scheduled there such as dog shows. The renting of the stalls will also help pay maintenance costs. I am very excited about this because it has been a long time coming.”
— Multi-purpose Event Center Committee member Wilma Fulgham

“I am so looking forward to this arena being built. I want our kids to be able to enjoy this. This is going to be a major economic boon for both the city and the county. The lodger’s tax and gross receipts tax will increase every time an event is held. Events will bring in people from all over and maybe they will want to move here (Clovis).”
— Curry County Commissioner Ed Perales

How Curry County is paying for the Special Events Center
$3 million – bond issue of 2001
$750,000 – city donations
$450,000 – federal grants
$1.8 million – capital outlay funds