In many Charlottean’s hearts, the Charlotte Coliseum was a special place. Nicknamed “The Hive,” the arena was where—for more than a decade— Muggsy Bogues dominated basketball in front of sold-out crowds.
After the new Uptown arena was built, the Coliseum became an albatross struggling to compete. The city spent 18 months trying to sell the asset and received only one weak offer. The property began to symbolize wasteful public spending and was drawing media scrutiny. City leaders knew they needed the sale proceeds to pay off an upcoming loan.
Because the property was publicly owned and high profile, Cardinal assembled stakeholders, including representatives of the City Manager’s office, the city real estate department, the legal staff, and the Coliseum Authority. Cardinal completed its Due Diligence 360™, a 221-point checklist, and used the information it discovered to craft a clear vision and make a compelling case for potential buyers for ways the property could be used.
Five miles west of Center City, the City of Charlotte owned and operated a 23,771-seat arena on approximately 150 acres. The construction of a new arena made the existing facility redundant, and the city put it up for sale. The city was legally required to put the property up for bid.
Cardinal embarked on a national marketing campaign. Hundreds of buyers were qualified. Five groups made offers; three made it to the final round. Two bidders emerged who repeatedly topped each other’s bids until settling at a final price of $23.35 million, a 42% premium over the opening bid and 63% more than the offer the city had initially received.