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Civic Center steadily gaining new events annually

Bean

By Myra Bean

The Batesville Civic Center has become one of the premiere event venues in this part of the state.

After listening to the demands of the citizenry,  Batesville built its own civic center and held the first event Jan. 22, 2005. Now with Roy Hyde at its helm for the last 14 years, BCC is hosting about 152 event days annually.

BCC has become one of the go-to places in the county to host any number of events from high school graduations, to livestock shows, to baby showers and more in its conference rooms.

The BCC was the first venue in this region to land the coveted PBR (Professional Bull Riding) event a few years ago. Hyde is proud to announce PBR will return to the BCC next summer.

Hyde does not just wait for people to call and schedule events at the Civic Center. If he sees something that would be attractive to this venue, he approaches them.

One of the biggest events he has brought to the Civic Center is the O’Reillly Indoor Kart Nationals, the largest indoor kart race in the world.

“I went to Tunica and got them,” Hyde said. “I did the same with Arenacross.”

As for the Lipscomb Brothers Memorial Rodeo, Hyde and Mark Lipscomb friendship dates back to their very young years. Lipscomb was quick to jump on board to move the rodeo to the Batesville Civic Center.

For the last four years, the rodeo has sold out. “It was some lean years leading up into the good years,” Hyde said.

Another big announcement Hyde made was the booking of a big gymnastic meeting for Nov. 8 and 9. These gymnasts are ranked about a level below Olympic gymnasts who are ranked 10.

These are ranked around seven and eight. He is also in talks to get a state championship gymnastic event at the BCC which will bring in about 1,000 athletes.

“Our layout and accessibility have been two of our best assets. The BCC’s design provides countless configuration possibilities allowing us to have hosted a very diverse schedule of events ranging from Rodeos to Food Shows, Monster Trucks to the Lippizaner Stallions, Concerts to Trade Shows, and Charity Benefits to Arenacross Racing,” Hyde said.

That accessibility have created another revenue stream for the BCC, RV parking. In 2015, they built 20 full-service RV sites. The RV sites are averaging just under 2,000 nights reserved annually.

“It makes it a whole lot friendlier to do your event here and stay back there,” Hyde said.

He said the BCC is perfectly located on Interstate 55. They get the snowbirds traveling south and then on the return trip north. Also, construction crews working in the area often will stay for six to eight months. According to Hyde, he has just the right number of RV spaces, but hopes to expand that capacity in the future.

The BCC is able to accommodate a wide range of events as the county provides over 300 yards of dirt for livestock shows, arena cross and kart racing. The dirt is under a tarp on the back side of the civic center waiting to be transported for the next event.

After gymnastics there will be a beef expo, South Panola High School ROTC Drill, and seven small events. Dirt will go in immediately following gymnastics for cart races and livestock shows then be taken out for UKC, and put it back in for the rodeo.

“With the BCC’s first decade in the rear view mirror, we are looking forward to the opportunities and challenges the next decade will present,” Hyde said.

Along with Hyde at the BCC are two women in the front office and three men who are responsible for the upkeep and minor maintenance on the building and event production.

For upcoming schedules, go to http://www.batesvilleciviccenter-ms.com.