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Metro Newsroom

Metro Council joins Mayor and Governor in groundbreaking for new downtown arena

Thursday November 30, 2006

Louisville Metro Council
For More Information Contact:
Steve Haag:  574-1204/645-1752
Tony Hyatt: 574-4137/5263622                  
For Immediate release:

Louisville – With the turn of several shovels, members of the Metro Council joined Mayor Jerry Abramson and Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher in breaking ground for a new downtown arena on Tuesday.

“Our gathering here, to break ground on a world class multipurpose arena, marks just another step that we as a city and as a commonwealth make together in our steady march toward Louisville becoming a first class city,” said  Councilman David Tandy (D) 4 who was master of ceremonies for the event.

In January, the Council traveled to Frankfort to advocate a downtown arena before the Kentucky General Assembly. They brought with them a letter signed by 25 members in support of building a downtown arena.

“This is the first project where the Council came together, put our political difference aside and worked toward what brought us here today,” said Council President Kevin Kramer (R) 11. “We never lost sight of this goal and in July provided 23 solid “yes” votes in approving the project.

The Metro Council approved a Memorandum of Agreement with the Arena Authority which guaranteed 30 per cent local funding for the project as a partner with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The state approved $75 million in bonding for the project.

The agreement also set goals for local jobs and minorities and women participation in the process of construction.

“I am glad we had a chance to make this a reality not only for Metro Louisville and the entire state,” said Majority Leader Jim King, (D) 10. “I am also excited about the potential not only for the city, but for the University of Louisville. This is a great day.”

Tuesday’s groundbreaking was ceremonial. There is much relocation and demolition work to be done before the actual construction begins on the arena in 2008. Officials hope to have the facility completed in 2010.

“This is not only an exciting economic development, but we are going to see one of the greatest impacts in our city with jobs and entertainment,” said Councilwoman Vicki Welch (D) 13. “This is such a good day for all of us.”

David Tandy (D) 4
Jim King (D) 10
Kevin Kramer (R) 11
Vicki Welch (D) 13