SBD/September 25, 2012/Facilities

Univ. Of Louisville Wants Say In Attempts To Bring NBA Team For Play At KFC Yum! Center

Although Univ. of Louisville AD Tom Jurich said that while he is “open to sharing the KFC Yum! Center with an NBA team, he is irked by efforts that have excluded the building’s primary tenant from that pursuit,” according to Tim Sullivan of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. Jurich characterized Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Sept. 14 meeting “with local NBA enthusiasts as a possible precursor of, ‘the ultimate bait-and-switch.’” Jurich yesterday said, “Nobody’s communicating with us. They had a meeting behind our back (and) we get people who were invited to the meeting sending us copies of the letter saying, ‘Hey, this is going on behind your back.’ That’s how we found out.” Fischer yesterday said that he “expressed his interest in professional basketball during a face-to-face meeting with Jurich in April.” With the Yum! Center “struggling to service its construction bonds and U of L holding a lease any prospective NBA tenant would want renegotiated, common ground could be scarce.” Jurich: “We’ve always been very flexible, always tried to help any way we could. Everybody asked us to be a team player six or seven years ago. We had zero goals to go downtown. That was not even in our strategic plan.” Fischer "emphasized that the city’s interest in the NBA was still exploratory and intimated that including university representatives in the Sept. 14 meeting might have inhibited the dialogue” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 9/25).
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