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Greenville Area District Board

The Bon Secours Wellness Arena is a Greenville Arena District managed facility. The Greenville Arena District Board is a political subdivision of the State of South Carolina. The nine members of the Board are nominated by County Council, and appointed by the Governor of South Carolina. Members’ three-year terms are served voluntarily, without compensation.

For more information about the Greenville Arena District, please visit greenvillearenadistrict.com ||| Please note as of 3/5/24 the GAD website is under construction, viewers will need to advance through security prompt for access


BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

NEETU PATEL - Chairperson

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 - Treasurer

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.


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

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.

History & Greenville Arena District

Greenville Arena District

The Greenville Arena District is a political subdivision of the State of South Carolina, which owns and operates the 15,500 capacity Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Greenville is a vibrant and diverse bswa iamgecity hungry for entertainment, the Arena District has continuously answered that call since 1940.

Bon Secours Wellness Arena and the Greenville Arena District host over 130 commercial events, approximately 600,000 attendees annually. 

“The Well,” a beloved nickname for Bon Secours Wellness Arena, has been an iconic fixture of Greenville’s skyline for decades. Since its opening in 1998, the arena has played host to more than 12 million enthusiastic fans, has created more than 500 full-time jobs, and injected well over $70 million into the Greenville metro area annually.

The arena has showcased some of the biggest names in the music industry including Taylor Swift, Prince, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Pearl Jam, and The Eagles, among many others. Through diverse programming the venue has continuously hosted popular shows such as Disney on Ice, Monster Jam, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and WWE.

Bon secours Wellness Arena has become a well-loved basketball hub in the southeast through partnerships with the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, NCAA Basketball Tournament (Men’s 1st & 2nd Rounds, Women’s Regionals), and Furman University Basketball (alternative home court),

 

History

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).

 

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The Lions Club began the Memorial Auditorium project in 1938. Even with the club's 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, Johnny Cash and Chuck Berry. 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 (then, BI-LO Center) was opened on September 3, 1998, and has hosted award-winning artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Prince, George Strait, The Eagles and Carrie Underwood, as well as events like the Ringling Bros.and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and WWE.‚Äč