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Nashnoize

Downtown Arena in Louisville

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I have decided that I like the idea for the arena to be downtown and not at the fairgrounds. The location is ideal, but is there a better site? I believe for Louisville this has to go downtown. It may cost more, but can be more economicly feasible in the long run. Like the article states, the NCAA wouldn't bring chanpionship events to the fairgrounds area. No other large events would care either, for that matter. What do you guys think?

www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060126/NEWS0101/601260372

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Neither site would be bad, but I agree that the downtown site would have a greater economic impact for the city and especially help the improve its entertainment/commercial district downtown. I also think a downtown arena might be key in a pro-sports team (expansion/relocation NBA) to town if thats still something the city might want to pursue at some point in the future.

That being said the Fairgrounds IMO is not a bad option either.

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The fairgrounds site is not that far from downtown, so it would hardly make lesser of an impact on the economy. In Louisville's case, the downtown area is growing and this could be the push it needs. Look at Memphis as an example. It is a way to get people downtown. I agree that it is also a help in persuing the pro sports franchise. Louisville is a city that has been looked at many times by the NBA. This could take it too that whole other level.

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I caught the following editorial in the C-J this morning and am going to take this guy up on his request at the bottom. I hope the pro-DT arena folks will join me. Also, please tell your friends/acquaintances of the plan. This might be the last chance we get to have this thing built. The members of the Jefferson County that are against the arena deserve fair warning of the political fallout from their short-sightedness. Others might be swayed by a concerted effort.

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.d...79/1054/OPINION

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Interesting article. I think Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky would be served well by building a new arena downtown. It would definately be a benefit for downtown and for the state and local government's coffers in the long run.

@ The Real - I fixed your formatting and link (which didn't work). You need to read the rules on posting articles. Glad to have you here on UP and look forward to seeing what else you have to say on urban issues/topics in Kentucky.

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Count me as one more in favor of a downtown arena. The fairgrounds will always have events that draw people there, but downtown really needs this and Louisville needs to put itself in line with other major cities in terms of pro-sports. It is the 16th largest city in the country and has cities like Cincy, Louisville, Lexington, Indy, Nashville, Dayton and Knoxville etc close by that might be drawn to a pro team. Also, other cities on the same level as Louisville have at least one pro team in football, basketball, or baseball. Louisville has none.

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@ The Real - I fixed your formatting and link (which didn't work). You need to read the rules on posting articles. Glad to have you here on UP and look forward to seeing what else you have to say on urban issues/topics in Kentucky.

Cool, Rural King. I need all the help I can get.

The gist of the editorial is that those who support a downtown arena for Louisville should call 800-372-7181 tomorrow (Monday, February 6th) and let the members of the Legislature know their opinion. The Executive Branch is behind this project, but Legislative support is also required for Louisville to get this badly needed investment.

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Louisville has always felt like a sleeping giant to me. It has never quite lived up to it's potential. Now, with the addition of an area, could be the time. This would open up so many doors for the city. In addition, it could really get some momentum going for the downtown and it's image. Louisville needs to make this happen to stay competitive with it's neighboring cities.

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rick pitino said today that the arena will never be built....he acted serious, but i doubt he really meant it. he was probably just trying to get it movie more buy letting the big wigs know how stupid all this debating is. or maybe he just loves freedom hall. I think people need to understand that the cardinals have played in freedom hall for a long time....if we think they are playing bad now, wait untill they move into a new arena. It will take some time for them to get used to

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Pitino: Cards won't play at Water Company site

05:07 PM EST on Friday, March 3, 2006

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino says his team will not play in an arena at the water company site.

This comes as a House budget committee earmarks arena funds only if it's built on the Water Company site.

Pitino made those comments during a taping of the coach

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Fletcher: 'Arena Will Be Built At Riverfront Site; End Of Story'

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- Governor Fletcher showed up unexpectedly at the Louisville Arena Unity Rally held in the Capitol Rotunda Friday.

The rally was held to reinforce support for the arena project at the riverfront location, which the governor explained is the only place it can be located to maximize profits.

"There's been a lot of speculation about where the arena should be located," Gov. Fletcher said, "but at the end of the day, the arena will be built at the riverfront site. End of story."

Among others on hand were: Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, Senate President David Williams, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey.

http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?S=4581995

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Arena report urges energy-saving features, Agency's guidelines call for a transparent facade

The article also has a fly-by animation!

Key --

1. Avoid large, blank walls

2. Public art should be included

3. Main Street facade should be transparent

4. Incorporate "green," or energy-saving elements, in the design

5. Provide year-round uses inside the building

Article information: "Arena report urges energy-saving features, By Marcus Green, The Courier-Journal, Thursday, March 8, 2007"

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First look inside the arena

Interior rendering

Key --

1. The architect released the design for the interior April 23. In it, he promised more comfortable seating and better sightlines than what is currently available at Freedom Hall.

1a. The number of seats will increase from 19,000 to 22,000.

2. 11,348 seats will be in the lower bowl; Freedom Hall, where UofL basketball teams currently play, has 7,124 seats in the lower level. The seats themselves will also be larger, increasing from 19 to 20 inches.

3. A sports bar will be located on the main concourse, which will have views of the Ohio River and will be open year-round.

3a. There will be a public plaza and concourse off of Main Street.

3b. There will also be 72 suites located on two levels between the main and upper concourses and will be twice as big as those in Freedom Hall.

4. The $252 million arena will be open by fall 2010 and be located at Second and Main Streets. This is part of a $450 million project that will include a 975-car parking structure, hotel and floodwall.

4a. It will house the UofL men and women basketball teams.

Article information: "First look inside the arena, By Marcus Green, The Courier-Journal, Tuesday, April 24, 2007"

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Electrical work first sign of planned arena

Notes --

1. E.On U.S. is beginning construction on a new downtown substation. This is the first evidence that the new $450 million UofL arena will become a reality.

2. The new arena is to be built in the block of River Road and Main, Second and Third Streets. LG&E currently has a substation on the block. The new substation will be constructed across the street at Third and River Road, and will cost $63 million.

3. The new substation is expected to be complete by October 2008; the land that the current substation is on will be transfered to the Louisville Arena Authority. The Authority has paid E.On U.S. ~$70 million for the property and for the new substation. They also plan to purchase land in the arena block from Humana.

Article information: "Electrical work first sign of planned arena, By Sheldon S. Shafer, The Courier-Journal, May 3, 2007"

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Hotel removed from arena plan

Notes --

1. A 425-room hotel for the riverfront arena, which was envisioned as one way to pay off the project, has been deleted. The reasons include,

1a. Other revenues to cover the $252 million construction cost are projected to be higher than expected.

1b. A hotel would have taken away land from a public plaza on Main Street.

1c. The hotel was expected to contribute $1.3 million in lease payments. But other sources of revenue will cover the $573 million in total debt over 30 years on an expected $339 million bond issue for the arena. These sources include --

1ci. $265 million from a tax-increment financing district,

1cii. The city's pledge of $206 million minimum,

1ciii. $179 million from interior advertising,

1civ. $84 million facility fee,

1cv. $63 million in luxury suite revenues, and

1cvi. $37 million in building naming rights.

1d. Originally, the Kentucky Finance Cabinet projected $211 million in new tax revenues in 2005. A more recent survey that was "more complete" was finished recently and the projected revenue jumped to $265 million.

2. The Louisville Arena Authority voted unanimously to remove the hotel at its monthly meeting on May 21 (Monday). The removal of the plaza allows for a wider Main Street plaza and allows for new features, such as a Washington Street entrance. It also allows for more design flexibility. The plaza, for instance, is now large enough that after-hour concerts and other events could be held.

3. Hotel operators (Greater Louisville Hotel & Lodging Association) also supported the measure, stating that downtown Louisville has enough rooms. The arena hotel and a planned Westin Hotel at Museum Plaza would have added 675 rooms by 2010. Now, only 570 rooms are planned for 2010, including 250 at Museum Plaza.

4. U of L's basketball teams would be the main tenants of the arena, but the 22,000-seat structure is designed for other uses, including conventions, ice shows, and collegiate sports championships.

5. The arena, which would have lost $123,000 a year originally, might turn a small profit.

5a. The arena will make $9.2 million a year in rent, merchandise, concessions and other revenues; this includes a $2 ticket tax on every U of L men's basketball games during its first 30 years.

5b. It is expected to spend just under $9 million a year. The annual profit would be $196,000.

The revised financial projections estimate the arena will turn a slim profit from operations -- a change from last year's estimate that it would lose about $123,000 a year.

6. The driving change behind the arena operating expenses is the reimbursement fee that the Arena Authority must pay to the Kentucky State Fair Board for the arena's impact on Freedom Hall. The decrease in revenues, from $1.3 million to $738,000 during the first 10 years of the new arena, is a result of revision taking into account lesser number of events for Freedom Hall.

6a. With U of L gone as a main tenant, several minor league hockey teams have taken interest in calling Freedom Hall home.

Article information: "Hotel removed from arena plan, By Marcus Green, Courier-Journal [Louisville], May 22, 2007"

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Deal offers protections on arena financing

Notes --

1. The Louisville Metro Council will propose next week (after months of negotiations) an arena-financing deal that will save the city taxpayers $3.4 million/year -- or $100 million over three decades. The proposal, which would require the arena officials to exhaust other revenue sources -- such as naming rights and luxury suite sales -- before asking the metro government to pay more than its minimum pledge.

2. That minimum pledge is $206 million towards the construction of the arena in annual installments between 2010 and 2039. Under the proposed deal, the Louisville Arena Authority can ask the local government for up to $3.5 million more a year to cover the debt only if at least five other sources are drained. Such agreements for arenas are commonplace.

2a. If the Louisville Arena Authority has to use additional city funds for two straight years, the Louisville Metro Council has the right to audit the arena's revenues.

3. If approved, the new agreement would allow $339 million in bonds through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority to be issued in November or December to construct the $252 million arena. Construction is expected to begin in 2008 and be complete by 2010.

3a. The total debt on the bonds, $573 million over 30 years, will be paid through several sources. These include the city's $206 million commitment, $265 million from a tax-increment financing district, $179 million from advertising rights inside the arena, $63 million from luxury box sales, and at least $37 million in arena naming rights.

3b. The tax-increment financing district will allow part of the anticipated growth in state taxes to help pay for the arena. The arena's share of that revenue is capped at $265 million, although the project will be able to use the excess revenues to pay down the debt. It is expected to generate $574 million over 20 years.

Article information: "Deal offers protections on arena financing, By Dan Klepal and Marcus Green, The Courier-Journal, May 28, 2007"

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Arena name marketer is hired: $40 million is set as a target price

By Marcus Green, Courier-Journal [Louisville], June 20, 2007

The name of the new downtown arena could be known as early as this year. The firm chosen by the Louisville Arena Authority yesterday to seek the sponsor, expects that it could sell the naming rights in six to 18 months. It is a deal that is worth at least $40 million. The $252 million facility is expected to open in 2010, and will be the home of the University of Louisville's basketball teams and other events.

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i still kinda liked 'the bucket' if YUM were to purchase rights. nba's the kentucky colonels playing in 'the bucket'. how freaking awesome. but, i know that an nba team is not in the forefront. just a thought...

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