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SBJ/February 6 - 12, 2006/Facilities
Arena project begins search for design-build team
Published February 6, 2006
The Louisville Arena Authority expected to issue a formal document last week to sports facility architects, general contractors and developers to determine their interest in planning a $349 million downtown arena project.
It’s the authority’s first step toward eventually selecting a design-build team. The team will include a developer, which will play a key role in planning a 450-room hotel as part of the project, said Jim Host, chairman of the 15-member organization.
The arena will be home to University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball. It will contain 22,000 seats, 72 suites, 2,000 lower club seats, 1,000 mezzanine clubs, 38 six-seat loge boxes and 32 four-seat loges.
Interested parties have 30 days to respond to the RFI, and a meeting will be scheduled a month later in Louisville to answer questions before proposals are sent out for those teams to officially bid on the project, Host said. The entire process should take six to nine months, he said.
The authority will own the facility and plans to hire a construction manager to serve as its representative to negotiate the development and construction process with the design-build team, Host said.
Ellerbe Becket, HNTB, HOK Sport and 360 Architecture officials said they’re interested in the project, and 360 already has consulted on a site study for the new arena. 360 also designed renovations for Cardinal Arena, the on-campus home for Louisville women’s volleyball.
HNTB designed Louisville Slugger Field, the city’s minor league ballpark, and Ellerbe planned the Kentucky International Convention Center expansion and renovation in downtown Louisville in 1999.
Regionally, Ellerbe Becket, HNTB and HOK have designed recent renovations for sports facilities at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. 360 and Louisville architect GBBN, which also participated in the downtown arena site study, are teaming to design the $60 million Bank of Kentucky Center in Highland Heights, Ky., across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, where HOK designed Great American Ballpark for MLB’s Reds.
Rosser International designed Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on the University of Louisville campus and also is expected to bid for the arena job, industry insiders said.
The arena will cost $252 million to build, Host said. Land acquisition and infrastructure make up the balance of the $349 million.