LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In four years, the KFC Yum! Center arena may default on bond payments. The main culprit is a nearly $34 million shortfall in revenue that was projected from Tax Increment Financing.
Weathering a recession and dealing with a two-year closing of the convention center certainly made the financial hole to dig out of worse.
Looming in 2029 are bond payments that nearly double each year from the current $21 million annually. What to do to survive until better days are ahead with a renovated convention center and new OMNI hotel?
- Refinance existing debt.
- Expand the TIF zone from two to six miles.
- Remove the cap for TIF revenue generated.
- Maintain Louisville's annual debt payments of $10.8 million.
- Decrease the number of dark days at the arena from the current well over 200 a year to under 100.
- Work with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to use the arena as a potential venue for conventions while the convention center is shut down.
- Increase the per ticket facility fee.
- Put rent fee increases on the table but realize UofL has a signed deal so be fair and creative with that option.
The KFC Yum! Center is considered one of the best venues in the country for a concert or sporting event. No one wins if it no longer operates.