ST. GEORGE – On Thursday, St. George City Council approved a measure to change the name of 700 East to University Avenue, as well as a measure approving the use of the old airport on the Black Ridge for a spring break concert expected to draw over 5,000 people.
The street name change was requested by Dixie State University to reflect the institution’s change in status from a college to a university. The street will have dual designations as both 700 East and University Avenue, so that residents who live there won’t have to formally change their street address.
Sherry Ruesch, executive director of student services, presented the proposed change to the City Council, along with DSU Public Relations Director Steve Johnson.
“I can’t see a downside,” St. George Mayor Dan McArthur said. “If this passes, will you and Steve both sing, ‘Are You From Dixie?’”
After the measure was approved, Ruesch and Johnson, took to the podium, along with DSU Director of Student Involvement Jordan Sharp and student Luke Kerouac, and launched into song.
The City Council also approved the use of the old airport, which the city is now calling the Ridge Top Complex, for their upcoming spring concert. Last year’s spring concert, featuring hip-hop artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, drew a massive audience to the Sark Arslanian field at Hansen Stadium. The show was controversial, drawing complaints from neighbors who were unhappy with the volume of the show, as well as the use of profanity by the Seattle-based duo.
Sharp assured the council that there would be no profanity at this year’s show. A clause will be included in the contract with the yet-unnamed performer allowing DSU to withhold pay if the artist violates the profanity restriction, he said.
“I will be in the sound booth with the check and a lighter,” Sharp said jokingly.
City Manager Gary Esplin recommended against holding the concert at the old airport, citing traffic concerns.
“Cars will be forced down Don Lee Drive (that is, Donlee Drive), which is too narrow to accommodate this type of traffic,” Esplin wrote in the meeting agenda. “I believe if the event is held during spring break, it should be held on the University campus.”
However, Sharp argued that the campus does not have a venue suited to the size of the audience, which he anticipates to be over 5,000 people. Sharp said that the university will provide their own security, and that an opening act will be scheduled so that incoming traffic will be staggered.
Councilwoman Gail Bunker agreed with Esplin’s recommendation that the event be held on the campus, but was willing to allow DSU to hold the event at the Ridge Top Complex. “Maybe it will work,” she said.
Councilman Jimmie Hughes called the question and the motion was approved unanimously.
“These are some of the things that go along with having a university,” Hughes said.
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- Perspectives: Public profanity is not our link to the ‘real world’
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