- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
Fox to release arena bond deal details
Feb 10, 2005 12:00 am
Details regarding bond issuance for a proposed 5,500-seat arena in Lebanon will be unveiled Friday, said Lebanon Mayor Don Fox, who will carry the plans to the Lebanon/Wilson County Development Board.
"Right now, the actual ownership of the events center would be the city and county development board or (Wilson County) sports authority," Fox said.
A clause in the recently formulated agreement requires the development board to make a $100,000 commitment in "seed money," which would be reimbursed to the board out of project funds when construction on the facility begins.
"The commitment of Global Entertainment (Corporation) … will be that they will make the commitment that – while they are negotiating with the City of Lebanon and Wilson County – there will be no negotiations with any other site within 75 highway miles of Lebanon," the mayor said.
He explained the 75-mile restriction would still allow Phoenix-based Global Entertainment Corporation (GEC) to consider other nearby sites for an arena and a Central Hockey League franchise to serve as a "rival" to a Lebanon team.
The restriction would be ensured with a letter of credit from GEC for $100,000.
"And that letter of credit would be surrendered upon the start of construction of our entertainment center," Fox said. "Now, we're working toward getting the agreement in a good form to present to our development board."
If the agreement is approved by the development board, Fox said it would then move to the Lebanon City Council and Wilson County Commission before design and engineering plans for the project could begin.
Fox said he is hopeful the plan will move quickly through local governing bodies, as city officials, local economic development representatives and GEC officials hope to take plans for the arena to the International Conference of Shopping Centers in May.
"It's the largest retail convention in America … We need to be there with the master plan so that we can sell spaces to vendors for a shopping strip and also to big box retailers," he said.
Officials with Global Entertainment have suggested the city and county seek to establish an entertainment tax district in the vicinity of the arena and a nearby retail and hotel development planned by a company known as The Reliable Group. Fox added representatives with the company would also attend the international conference in May.
"Including the debt service, this financial plan is laid out in such a way that it should not only break even – paying for itself – but, if the revenue is more than projected, that could be money that could be rolled back as a surplus," he said.
Fox has already met with GEC delegates and state economic development officials for assistance in the establishment of the new entertainment tax district.
Staff Writer Brian Harville can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 16 or by e-mail at email@example.com.