• Front / About

    The Greenville Arena District Board

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

  • 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



    Serving Together: Arena’s Giving Experience, is the Greenville Arena District’s community engagement initiative in Greenville and the Upstate.

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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.

  • 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.


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.


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.


Neetu Patel


Mr. Patel is the Vice President of Operations for Sycamore Investment Group where he leads the operations teams for the Home2 Suites Greenville Downtown and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites.  Mr. Patel was born and raised in Greenville and is a graduate of The University of South Carolina with degrees in Finance and HR Management.  Prior to joining Sycamore Investment Group, Mr. Patel was the Sr. Operations Officer for the Office of the Executive Vice President for the American Red Cross in Washington D.C.  In this role, he was charged with managing catastrophic disaster resources plan to better allocate resources between sixteen departments, conducting training seminars, and reducing budgets.  Since returning to Greenville, Mr. Patel is actively involved in the Greenville community and currently serves on several boards, including the American Red Cross – Greenville Chapter, VisitGreenvilleSC, Euphoria, and the City of Greenville Accommodations Tax Committee.

Dante Russo

Vice Chairperson

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 the Principal Agent of SDR Insurance 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.

Barry Formanack


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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.

Jimmy Pittman

Jimmy Pittman is a native of Greenville, South Carolina.  Following graduation from Clemson University, Jimmy was employed by Daniel Construction in Greenville.  Over the next 27 years, during his employment with Daniel Construction, he had various assignments within the United States.  While residing in California, he served as the Director of The World Affairs Council of Orange County, the Director of Orange County Office of Protocol, and the Chairman of the Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council.  He returned to Greenville in 1993 to manage the Facility and Plant Services Company, a subsidiary of Fluor Daniel.  Since 1997 he has owned and managed various property management, facility management, and maintenance companies.  Mr. Pittman currently owns Maintainit, Ltd., a facility management and maintenance services company.  The company is based in Greenville and has operations throughout the upstate.  He has previously served on the Board of Directors of Regent Bank of South Carolina, the Board of Directors of Woodruff Corporate Center, and the Board of Visitors at Clemson University.

Amber Drummond

Amber Drummond is a graduate of Clemson University where she obtained a degree in accounting. After graduation, Amber served four years as a police officer with the City of Greenville before joining Hubbell Lighting as a Pricing Analyst. She is an active volunteer with the United Way and with Shady Oak Baptist Church. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling and playing with her two young sons.

Brittany Moore

Mrs. Moore was born and raised in Greenville. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from The University of South Carolina. She later received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Clemson University. For nearly a decade, she began her career working for the City of Greenville. She is currently employed by The Carolina Time and Parking Group as an Account Executive. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband (Josh) and two young sons (Jackson and Harrison). 

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.


Neil Smith

Neil Smith, one of the most highly-regarded executives in the National Hockey League, is the former President and General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup champions, The New York Rangers. From 1989 to 2000, the Rangers captured three division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies and one Stanley Cup Championship. In 1992, he was promoted to the position of President and General Manager, Neil continued to improve the Rangers when he signed the greatest player in the history of the National Hockey League as a free agent, bringing Wayne Gretzky to the Rangers on July 21, 1996. He acquired ownership of the ECHL’s iconic Johnstown Chiefs in 2003 and subsequently moved the team to Greenville, SC in 2010 where he was President, General Manager and Governor of the Greenville Road Warriors.


Kerry Lightner

Mr. Lightner has attended over 1,000 events at the BSWA since opening in 1998. He is an avid educator and coach who recognized Greenville’s boundless potential and chose to establish it as his forever home. With an illustrious academic background and a tenure of twenty-six years as an English teacher and championship-winning volleyball coach, he has left an indelible mark on the Pickens County School District.

Greenville Arena District Public Facilities Management Corporation

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

  • Dante Russo, President
  • Neetu Patel, Vice President
  • Barry Formanack, Treasurer

  • Amber Drummond
  • Buddy Dyer
  • Jimmy Pittman
  • Brittany Moore
  • Neil Smith
  • Kerry Lightner


Since 1940

Press Releases

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

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Greenville Arena District

650 N Academy St
Greenville, SC 29601
Phone: (864) 241-3800
Fax: (864) 250-4939

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