Ellis: Improvements could cost city $20,000

Macon Mayor Jack Ellis said today he expects it will cost $15,000 to $20,000 to make the City Auditorium ready for Oprah Winfrey's visit in two weeks.

City workers were busy painting doorways, entrances and hallways in the auditorium Friday. Ellis said that Winfrey would reimburse the city for some for some of the improvements, primarily to the dressing room areas.

Winfrey is scheduled to travel to Macon Nov. 17 to tape an episode of her talk show as part of a series of shows highlighting hometowns across the United States.

There are no more free tickets available. More than 4,500 people requested free tickets for the show within the first 48 hours that applications were available on the show's Web site.