Facts on the downtown plan: Team Rupp memberships

June 6, 2014 

Myth: Little research has been done into Team Rupp, the portion of the financing plan that calls for raising $35 million by selling memberships to fans.

Fact: Early in the public discussion of the project, the idea arose of raising money from fans, citing the Green Bay Packers football team's success in selling shares to fans as a source of capital. In 2011 the Packers raised $67 million by selling shares, which are not true investments and are primarily keepsakes.

The Rupp Area Arts & Entertainment District task force asked CSL/Legends and HKS World Events to investigate the possibility. The firms work nationally and internationally with professional and college sports programs, arenas and municipalities to develop revenue sources.

Sims Hinds, vice president and managing director of HKS, said that as a result of research conducted in the winter of 2012-13, his firm developed an estimate of raising $30 million to $34 million as a target for Team Rupp based on selling 150,000 memberships for $200 to $225.

The task force then contracted with a Lexington firm, Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions, to develop a plan for marketing Team Rupp and the benefits, such as certificates and other materials and experiences, that would accrue to members. Those ideas have not been released to the public.

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