Nationwide Arena To Fund Own Upgrades With New Tax Plan
The Columbus (OH) City Council has "unveiled a revised ticket-tax proposal that would reduce the rate" from 7% to 5% and stipulates that "only the tax revenue from Nationwide Arena events could be used for arena improvements," according to a front-page piece by Mark Ferenchik of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. The council "tweaked the proposal after hearing from promoters and venue owners" concerned that a 7% ticket tax would hurt sales at the Blue Jackets' home venue. The two-pronged proposal would implement a 5% "fee on performances and sporting events at venues with more than 400 seats, not including Nationwide Arena, for tickets costing more than $10." It also would implement a 5% "fee on events at Nationwide Arena." That would raise about $3M a year, with 80% -- $2.4M -- "going to the arena and $600,000 for improvements to arts facilities." An analysis of other cities' arena plans show Nashville has a 9.25% admissions tax; Cleveland is at 8%; Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are at 5%; and Cincinnati is at 3%. A public hearing on the new proposal is scheduled for 5:00pm ET Thursday. City Council President Shannon Hardin said that the plan is to "introduce legislation at Monday’s council meeting, with a vote expected at the Dec. 10 meeting." The Blue Jackets were "among the opponents" of the 7% tax (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/27).