Complaints from entertainers and theater goers about the conditions at the Selena Auditorium are prompting the City to find more money to upgrade its dressing rooms.
Mayor Nelda Martinez is hoping for a banner year for local hotels and motels so that funds from the Hotel Occupancy Tax can be used at the auditorium. The mayor and officials of SMG, the company that operates the American Bank Center, say the outdated facilities could drive business away.
The dressing rooms were part of the auditorium built in the 1970s, and still bear the same color scheme. The fixtures and plumbing work, but the rooms are cramped and many complain of a musty odor, both in the dressing rooms and in the auditorium itself.
Martinez is hoping that the tourism increase over the last few years may provide the answer.
"Whether it's performers, whether it's ballet here locally, whether it's the ballet folklorico, or whether it's those who come in who are international performers, national, they all complain about the gross disrepair of the dressing rooms and all the facilities of the staging," Martinez said. "It's just like our streets. If we don't take care of our facilities, you pay more later if you don't pay now."
The Auditorium, which opened in 1978, and the Convention Center, opened in 1981, have both undergone some renovations in the last few years, and last year, the City awarded $65,000 in upgrades for the facility. While upgrades have been made, more money is needed to take care of all the remodeling that is needed.
Crews were busy Wednesday at the American Bank Center. On Thursday, the Center plays host to some 2,500 people in town for a United Methodist Convention.
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