Agreement reached to keep Ga. Sports Hall in Macon

MACON, Ga. (AP) -- The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority has approved a license agreement with a Macon group to operate the museum for the next year, with options for two more years.

The Macon Telegraph reported Monday that authority members are scheduled to will meet on Tuesday with the State Properties Commission to complete a lease agreement with the Development Authority of Bibb County.

Under state regulations, the State Properties Commission can enter into a lease agreement only with another government entity.

The agreement would end 17 months of uncertainty since the state put out a request for proposals by Georgia cities and counties to take over the sports hall and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, which was shut down in June. The state had cut off funding for the halls, which had been losing money.

Halls of Fame Inc. and the state have been negotiating for months. Halls of Fame Inc. has assigned its interest in the museum to the group NewTown Macon.

Sports hall interim director Ben Sapp told authority members that the museum has been operating on funds supplied by the sports hall's foundation, with an $11,000 deficit accumulated between June and August.

Once the agreement is in place, the museum would receive money from the Peyton Anderson Foundation, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia and the Benjy Griffith Foundation as outlined in Halls of Fame Inc.'s proposal to the state.