SBD/April 20, 2017/Facilities

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  • U.S. Bank Arena's Bid For '22 NCAA Tourney Games Contingent On Tax Money For Upgrade

    There are preliminary plans to tear down the arena and rebuild one on the same site

    A bid to host first- and second-round NCAA men's basketball tournament games in '22 is "contingent on Cincinnati and Hamilton County taxpayers coming up with at least some of the money for a reconstruction of 40-year-old U.S. Bank Arena, which could cost as much as" $350M, according to Horn & Coolidge of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. How much public money "isn't clear." Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel said, "We already own two stadiums. We are full-up on stadiums. ... To me, it rests with the owners and whether they want to make an investment." Fellow Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune said that his message to the arena's owner, Nederlander Entertainment, has been "consistent since the company first floated the idea of using some public money" for a $200M renovation in '15. Portune: "Go do it. It's your arena. We'll be happy to help with permits and zoning, but don't think that the county has a pot of money over here that we're waiting to make available." Horn & Coolidge note city officials "also seem chilly to the idea." Nederlander, however, "remains optimistic." Nederlander CEO Ray Harris said that the company "now has preliminary plans to tear down the existing arena and rebuild a state-of-the-art 19,000 seat facility on the same site next to Great American Ball Park." Harris said that he has been "discussing with city and county officials how to pay for it." He added that talks have "gone well" and "hopes to have a financing plan in place by the end of the year" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/20). In Cincinnati, Paul Daugherty wrote the "notion that U.S. Bank Arena will ever host the first weekend of March Madness makes me chuckle cynically." Founded in Detroit and headquartered in N.Y., Nederlander has "shown zero interest in putting any money into the arena in Cincinnati" (CINCINNATI.com, 4/19).

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