GREENSBORO — With the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts set to open in March, project leaders announced Monday two more corporate sponsors that will help to make it happen.
Kontoor Brands and Brady Services have donated $1.15 million to the new venue, under construction downtown at North Elm and East Lindsay streets and Abe Brenner Place.
The $750,000 sponsorship from Kontoor, the jeans wear company that spun off from VF Corp when VF left Greensboro, and Brady Services' $400,000 sponsorship will create third-floor hospitality suites.
The hospitality spaces "will play an important role in ensuring the annual financial success of the Tanger Center, and will define the Tanger Center for its uniqueness among other state-of-the-art performing arts centers in the country," said Matt Brown, Greensboro Coliseum complex managing director. The coliseum will manage the new venue.
The 3,023-seat performing arts center will feature touring Broadway shows, concerts, the Guilford College Bryan Series of prominent guest speakers, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra performances, a Greensboro Opera production, comedy shows and family entertainment.
The venue already has sold 15,840 season seat memberships for the 2020-21 Broadway season.
The exact opening date has not been set, Brown said. He said he hopes to host events for donors and a grand opening for the public. So far, the earliest performance scheduled is Jay Leno on March 22.
With the additional sponsorships, the center's budget will approach $93 million — nearly $88 million for the project itself and $5 million in bond-related financing costs, shared by the city of Greensboro and private donors.
The City Council is scheduled to increase the budget at its Jan. 21 meeting.
No taxpayer money was used on construction, Brown said. The city’s portion will come from a combination of ticket fees, parking revenues and a tax on hotel rooms.
Among those attending Monday's announcement were Kathy Manning, who led the effort to raise $42 million in private donations, and Walker Sanders, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, which convened the task force that began center planning nearly eight years ago.
Also present were representatives of the Koury Corp. and the Schiffman family. The Koury family previously had given $500,000 for naming rights to a third-floor ballroom.
The Koury Ballroom, the Lee & Wrangler Lounge and the Brady Services Suite will form the Tanger Center’s three hospitality spaces. They will host a variety of pre-show functions including receptions, artist lectures and other special events.
The Schiffman family's previous $525,000 donation gave them naming rights for the "Schiffman's Ring of Light," which will be suspended over the seating area of the Tobee and Leonard Kaplan Theater.
The center is named for the CEO of Tanger Outlets, who pledged $7.5 million for the project.
The Lee & Wrangler Lounge, named after Kontoor's most prominent brands, will feature a full-service bar. It also includes access to the Tanger Center’s outdoor terrace that overlooks LeBauer Park and Kontoor's corporate headquarters.
That outdoor terrace will be named for local philanthropist Joe M. Bryan Jr., who previously gave $1 million to the project, Brown said.
Sponsoring part of the Tanger Center was an easy decision, said Scott Baxter, Kontoor Brands president and chief executive officer.
Kontoor's nearby headquarters houses 850 of its 15,000 associates worldwide.
"They are proud of what’s happening in the community — the building that’s going on and all the excitement that’s happening downtown," Baxter said.
The Brady Services Suite overlooks Elm Street and provides views of downtown while hosting pre-event hospitality and corporate-meeting functions.
Founded in 1962 as a Trane franchise, the family-owned Brady Services specializes in commercial heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
Jim Brady, president and CEO of Brady Services, called Monday "an exciting day for all of us and certainly a mile marker in the history of Greensboro and the Triad at large."
"This is going to create a lot of diversity and opportunity for building community, for enhancing the social fabric of our community, and enhance the lives and well-being of everyone that lives in the Triad," Brady said.
Accompanying him was his wife, Louise Brady, who co-chaired the performing arts center task force.
She was among those touring the building interior on Monday, against a backdrop of construction noise.
Manning sat in the auditorium's back row. "There's not a bad seat in the house," she said.