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    The Greenville Arena District Board

    is a political subdivision of the State of South Carolina, which owns and operates the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

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    Mission

    Greenville Arena District Mission Statement:

    Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors of Upstate South Carolina through entertainment

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    Economic Impact

    The Arena and its events have an annual economic impact of over $56 million and provide 540 full time jobs in the Greenville area. Visitors to our events book 33,000 hotel rooms each year.

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    World-Class Entertainment

    The BSW Arena has hosted world class artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, George Strait, and The Eagles, as well as events like Disney on Ice, WWE, and the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

Board of Directors

The Greenville Arena District is managed by a Board of Directors, who are nominated by the County Council and then appointed by the Governor of South Carolina.

Dante Russo

Chairperson

dante

Mr. Russo was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area. He is a graduate of The University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor in Business Administration. Dante is one of the founding partners of SC Insurance Brokers which is a property and casualty insurance company located in Greenville. During his free time he enjoys traveling, going to the gym, and watching his beloved Pittsburgh sports teams. He is very involved in the Greenville community and currently serves on several boards and advisory councils.

Jack Bacot

Vice Chairperson

Bacot

Mr. Bacot is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor in Mass Communications. Jack is the Vice President of Marketing and Media and editor-in-chief of Tempus Magazine for Tempus Jets, Inc. Prior to Tempus, he served as founding editor-in-chief of TOWN Magazine, and was founding editor of G–The Magazine of Greenville. Jack is very involved in the Greenville community and currently serves on several boards.

 

Joyce Smart

Secretary

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Ms. Smart is an independent consultant in the Greenville area following a successful career as a BI-LO Supermarket executive. She graduated from Western Michigan University and has lived in Greenville County for nearly 40 years. Ms. Smart has an extensive volunteer history, including board service with Dogs for Autism, A Child’s Haven, The Urban League of the Upstate, The Salvation Army and the BI-LO Charity Classic.

Barry Formanack

Treasurer

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Mr. Formanack is the Corporate Controller for Cafe Enterprises, Inc. in Greenville, SC. He is a graduate of Southern Wesleyan University with a Master’s in Business Administration.  His previous volunteer experience includes the Arena District Commission Board since June 2007, Deacon at Heritage Bible Church, Missions for Haiti Board Member and a Youth Soccer Coach.

Buddy Dyer

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Mr. Dyer is the owner of MSI, Inc. He is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a Bachelors of Science in Technology. His previous volunteer experience includes the BMW golf tournament, Fall for Greenville, Ruritan Club, Greenville County Future Planning and Habitat for Humanity.

Dee Benedict

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Ms. Benedict is a Partner in Capital Placement Group, working on behalf of several overseas investors in placing capital assets into US investment opportunities and allocating foreign infrastructure projects to appropriate US corporations. She has a BA in English from Columbia College and a Master’s in English Lit from UNC Chapel Hill. She is the founder and President of the Greenville Scottish Games, one of the premier Games in the US and designated as the Signature Event by Greenville County. Ms. Benedict is a long-time Republican activist. She is presently working on several major initiatives to benefit Greater Greenville.

Paul Kearns

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Mr. Kearns has been a resident in Greenville since 1999.  In his professional life, he is a marketer for packaging products.  He is also actively involved in the community as a singing member of the Greenville Chorale, a member of the Vestry of St. Andrew’s Episcopal and the treasurer of the Upstate SC Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association.  He has also been instrumental in the success of Feed Thy Neighbor, a weekly breakfast for the homeless that is provided by the Episcopal Churches of Greenville.

Michael Cashman

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Mike Cashman is a business litigator with the law firm of Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice LLP. Prior to attending law school, Mike served as an infantry officer and Airborne Ranger in the United States Army. In addition to his law degree, Mike holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Mike is an active volunteer with numerous non-profit organizations within the community, as well as a graduate of Leadership Greenville, Leadership South Carolina and the Diversity Leaders Initiative.

Michael Chatman

Chatman

Mr. Chatman is employed as a Project Manager with Greenville County Schools.

Since 1988 he has managed numerous New Construction and Renovation projects. He is native of Greenville, South Carolina. He graduated from Morehouse College and Georgia Institute of Technology where he received an Interdisciplinary BS and BIE, respectively.
He has served on both the Greenville City and Greenville County Board of Zoning Appeals. He is a member of Alpha Greenville Foundation, an extension of his beloved Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Through this affiliation he has volunteered with several organizations including Hand On Greenville. He is a Member of Springfield Baptist Church where he serves as a Trustee.
His hobbies include traveling and golf.

 

Greenville Arena District Public Facilities Management Corporation

The GADPFMC is a subset of the Greenville Arena District Board. Its members include:

  • Dante Russo- President
  • Jack Becot, Vice President

  • Buddy Dyer
  • Barry Formanack
  • Paul Kearns
  • Matthew Malloy

Since 1940

History

The Greenville Arena District has a strong tradition of bringing high quality entertainment to Greenville since 1940. It hosts over 100 events and 400,000 people each year.

Original state legislation forming Greenville Memorial Auditorium District (GMAD), which later became the Greenville Arena District, dates back to 1940. GMAD oversaw the Greenville Memorial Auditorium which opened in 1958 and changed to the Greenville Arena District (GAD) in 1998 upon the construction and opening of the Bon Secours Wellness Arena (first known as the BI-LO Center).

 

The Lions Club began the Memorial Auditorium project in 1938. Even with the clubs active support it took over twenty years to complete the project, including delays from two wars, lawsuits, and many disagreements over design elements. The Greenville Memorial Auditorium opened its doors, before completion, and held its first event, a basketball game between Furman University and the University of West Virginia on December 1, 1958.

 

The Memorial Auditorium held concerts for three decades for some of the “who’s who” of American popular music-, including James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones and Chuck Berry. Conway Twitty appeared first with Loretta Lynn and then alone. Johnny Cash and Barbara Mandrell also played at the GMA.

 

On October 19, 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd played at the Auditorium and ended their performance by singing “Freebird” for over twenty minutes. The next day, lead singer Ronnie VanZant and band members Steve and Cassie Gaines were killed in an airplane crash.

The Memorial Auditorium stood at the corner of East North Street and Church Street near Christ Church until the late 1990’s. The Bon Secours Wellness Arena (formerly BI-LO Center) was opened on September 13, 1998 and has hosted award winning artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, George Strait, The Eagles, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Usher and events like the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, WWE, Disney on Ice and Winter Jam.

 

Press Releases

The latest news regarding the Greenville Arena District and the GADPFMC.

Read More →

Building Notices

Check here for Building Notices for the Greenville Arena District.

Board Meeting Agendas:

GAD Board of Trustees Meeting

GAD Finance Committee Meeting

GAD Audited Financial Statements:
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

Operating Budgets:
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013

 

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