The Arena in Corbin is under new management.
At a special called meeting Monday morning, the Corbin City Commission voted 4-0 to hire Kristi Balla to be the new Arena manager.
Balla, a 1995 graduate of Corbin High School, has previously worked at other venues including the KFC Yum Center in Louisville, the Louisville Palace, a 3,000-seat concert venue, the Norva in Norfolk, Virginia, and the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in California.
City Manager Marlon Sams said it was Balla’s experience and background in the entertainment and events community that set her apart from the three finalists chosen from the 39 applicants.
“It was not just in one area but a lot of different areas,” Sams said.
Balla’s starting salary will be $50,000 plus other benefits provided as a full-time city employee.
Balla worked as part of the crew in five different movies, and work for ESPN as an operations assistant for a college football crew covering SEC games.
“Her resume was extremely impressive,” said Commission Suzie Razmus, adding that along with numerous contacts, Balla had a sales and marketing plan and some other great ideas to bring more events to The Arena.
“She was also an event manager under SMG when they ran The Arena,” Razmus noted.
Balla said she is excited at the prospect of putting her talents to work to benefit her hometown.
“There is an unlimited amount of potential there,” Balla said the facility.
Though she is not ready to announce any specifics yet, Balla said she wants to bring more types of concerts than country music.
In addition, Balla said she wants to bring in some off Broadway shows that are touring.
“There are a lot of Broadway tours that are out and about that would be perfect,” Balla said.
Balla said she would like to see the facility used for conventions and to bring more family shows.
“Hopefully, I will get the support of the community and help The Arena thrive and become what it can be,” Balla said.