Tunica Arena Announces $4 Million Expansion Project The Tunica Arena & Exposition Center has announced plans for a major expansion scheduled for completion by the autumn of 2002. The expansion will add 240 new livestock stalls to the facility, for a total of 606 stalls upon completion. Also, a covered arena of 230 feet by 400 feet, with seating for up to 500, will be built, giving the facility an additional independent event space with its own public address system, announcer stand and show services. The estimated budget for the expansion is approximately $4 million. "This major new expansion will enable us to offer a much greater event space to the organizers who have either booked an event with us or who are considering our facility for their future shows," said Roger Newman, Arena Director. "With the new covered arena, we will be able to provide our customers with the facilities to hold either two events simultaneously, or to use the second covered arena as a warm-up area for horses." The additional 240 livestock stalls will enable the Arena to accommodate larger events, which generally require a warm-up area. Upon completion of this project, the facility will be equipped to meet a wider variety of needs. "We hope this will result in even more bookings for 2003," Newman added. In its first year of operation (August 2000 to August 2001), the Arena hosted 100,000 visitors from 45 states around the nation. Event days for the first year totaled 119; with 69 livestock show dates and 50 non-livestock dates. To date, the Arena has booked 147 event days for 2002. The $25 million center is the largest indoor arena in Mississippi, with 48,000 square feet of climate-controlled exhibit space on the main arena floor. It has a seating capacity of 6,000 and paved parking for 1,100 vehicles, plus 600 additional parking spaces and 66 RV spaces. The facility has 14 luxury skyboxes, full-service banquet facilities, two outdoor arenas and an adjacent pavilion with an additional 100,000 square feet of exposition area. Also, 366 livestock stalls, showers, dressing areas and support services provide one of the region's largest covered environments for livestock shows. The Arena has been host to a variety of "dirt" shows including quarter horse shows, bull riding, team roping, barrel racing and professional rodeos; trade and consumer shows for the hardware, food service, gift and antique, and agricultural industries; association meetings; and family events. The following is a sampling of shows scheduled in 2002: Mid-American Cutting Horse Extravaganza, January 23-27. American Amateur Team Ropers Association, March 2-3, August 3-4. Maker's Market Gift Show of the Delta, March 22-24. Rope America Team Roping, March 30-31. Walt Woodard Champion Team Roping, May 4-5. International Boer Goat Association Show, July 5-7. Paintball Tournament, July 11-14. National Indoor Dirt Championships /Go-Kart Racing, August 30-31. Mid-South Ag Expo, September 12-14. Mid-South High School Rodeo, September 27-29. Fitzgeralds Southern National Antique Tractor Pull, December 28-29. Athletic Cheer and Dance National Championship, December 28-29. For a complete schedule of events in 2002, please call the Arena at (662) 363-3299, or visit the website at www.tunicaarenaexpo.com. Located at 3873 U.S. Highway 61 North, the Arena is owned and managed by Tunica County, Mississippi, and operated by the Tunica County Arena & Exposition Center, Inc., a Mississippi not-for-profit corporation. Tunica County also owns and manages the now under construction River Park, airport, and golf and tennis facility, which are scheduled to open in 2003. Tunica is America's third largest gaming resort destination. With 10 world-class casino resorts, over 40 restaurants, more than 6,300 new hotel rooms, two championship golf courses, and much more, Tunica welcomes 10 to 12 million visitors annually.
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