The Crown Complex is comprised of five venues, including a 2,440-seat Theatre and 4,500-seat Arena that opened in 1967, and a 10,880-seat Coliseum, 60,000-square-foot Expo Center and 9,200-square-foot Ballroom that opened in 1997.
Over the past two decades, the Complex has remained an important asset to the local community and the region, however the Theatre and Arena have undergone minimal capital improvements over the last half century, and the condition of the venues has deteriorated. A number of studies have been done including the 2015 Crown Theatre Modernization Study, which determined that significant upgrades were needed to meet current ADA standards and modernize the venue, and that the cost of those upgrades would approach the cost of building a brand new facility.
In 2018, the Cumberland County Civic Center Commission recommended to the Board of Commissioners that the Theatre be replaced with a new state-of-the-art venue and a feasibility study be conducted on how best to proceed.
The Board of Commissioners announced in early 2020 that the Crown Theatre and Arena will close by November 2025. The Board also engaged Convention, Sports & Leisure International (CSL), Steinberg Hart, and Public Participation Partners (P3) to conduct a Market & Financial Feasibility Study. The study, which was completed in September 2021, recommended constructing a new multi-purpose event center with a maximum capacity of 2,500 that can accommodate a variety of uses.
The Board of Commissioners hired MBP as the owner’s representative for the project and established a three-member Crown Event Center Committee, which includes Commissioner Jeannette Council, the committee chair; Commissioners Chairman Glenn Adams; and Commissioner Jimmy Keefe. Civic Center Commission Chairman Joe Quigg serves on the Committee in an ex-officio capacity. County government staff and representatives from Spectra, which manages the facility, also provide support.
The Crown Event Center Committee held a kick-off meeting for the new Crown Event Center project on April 20, 2022. The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners approved guiding principles for the project on Sept. 6, 2022, following a community engagement process with project stakeholders. EwingCole was hired as the project architect in November 2022.
Information related to the project and the Crown Event Center Committee will be posted on this page throughout the duration of the project.