SBD/April 25, 2014/Facilities

Univ. Of Akron Intends To Build Downtown Arena With Help Of County Sales Tax Hike

The Univ. of Akron has announced a $76M downtown arena project that will be paid for by a "county sales tax hike," according to Stephanie Warsmith of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. The announcement was "greeted with excitement by the parties involved" but also "raised more questions." The biggest question was whether voters will support a 0.25% sales-tax increase to fund the arena and "other county expenses that will be put on the Nov. 4 ballot." The arena would be "home to UA’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and would host other events." UA would "continue using the aging, 5,300-seat James A. Rhodes Arena on campus, where the basketball team currently plays, with plans down the road for updates." The new 8,500-seat arena would be a joint venture between UA, the city, Summit County and the Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA). UA and the city would "supply the land, the county would provide the funding and own the arena, and DFA would operate the arena and issue the bonds." UA's BOT on Tuesday "approved an initial agreement for the project," but the school and the other parties "still need to reach a more detailed agreement." Trustee Roland Bauer said that construction of the arena "would likely take three years" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 4/24).
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