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Volume 24 No. 117
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Downgrade On KFC Yum! Center Bonds Could Put Refinancing On Hold

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King said that credit rating firm Moody’s Investors Service has "again downgraded the KFC Yum! Center’s bonds, putting on hold a potential refinancing for a lower interest rate that could save millions a year," according to Gregory Hall of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. Citing "persistent risks to the arena’s ability to pay off" the $349M worth of bonds, Moody’s "downgraded its opinion of the Yum Center bonds to Ba3, pushing them deeper into 'junk' status." Moody’s said that existing agreements -- "namely the arena authority’s deal with the University of Louisville -- and scheduled increases in interest and principle payments will be a drag on profitability, even with improvements in the arena’s operations and a reconfiguration of a taxing district around it." King on Friday said that the authority’s finance committee, of which he is a member, had been "discussing trying to take advantage of low interest rates to save up to $7 million a year, but 'it’s a non-starter at this point.'” Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's Communications Dir Kerri Richardson said that any refinancing "would be years away regardless of the downgrade" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 11/16). In Louisville, John Karman III noted Moody's also cited "several positives for the authority, which owns and oversees the Yum Center, including the addition" of AEG as the arena's GM (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/15).