Die-hard supporters of a new downtown arena persevered against a stingy credit market as planners secured nearly $350 million in bond financing for a 22,000-seat venue that will become an eye-catching attraction along Louisville's riverfront.
Everyone from state and city leaders, bond underwriters, bankers and even lawyers basked in applause as the Louisville Arena Authority formally secured $349.2 million in bond financing on Wednesday to guarantee construction of the long-planned arena, which will become home to University of Louisville basketball teams.
Arena authority chairman Jim Host said planners completed the new financing package despite "the worst credit environment that we can imagine."
Demolition work will clear the arena site by October, and the venue remains on schedule to open in November 2010, Host said. He said three groups have expressed interest in acquiring naming rights to the arena, and he said there's "no reason" for planners to accept less than $40 million - an amount he previously mentioned.
I'll take Frank's word for it when he says that all of this is incredibly good.
I ain't no suit-wearin' businessman like you, you know. I'm just a gangster, I suppose. But I want my corner...seat in the new arena.