Facts on downtown plan clarity for informed debate

June 5, 2014 

Myth: The Rupp project is comparable to the Yum Center project in Louisville.

Facts: While both projects involve a basketball arena, there are significant differences:

■ The city of Louisville had to purchase the land where Yum was built for $238 million in 2010.

Rupp sits on city-owned land and the cost for renovating the arena is $175 million.

■ The University of Louisville, which had been playing at Freedom Hall closer to campus, negotiated a favorable lease to attract it downtown. In 2013, Yum received $1.861 million for its portion of seat- and luxury-suite revenues from U of L games.

The University of Kentucky, which has played at Rupp for 38 years, agreed to pay $10.7 million in annual rent for a renovated arena.

■ Yum Center's financing plan anticipated revenues from a tax-increment financing district (benefits from economic growth in the area around it) of $6.7 million annually. In 2011 and 2012 the TIF produced $2.1 million and $3.5 mllion, respectively.

The financing plan for the Rupp Arena Arts & Entertainment District does not include any TIF revenues, although a TIF district would be created and could provide revenue in later years.

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