State Auditor calls on UofL to pay more of KFC Yum! Center's debt

State Auditor calls on UofL to pay more of KFC Yum! Center's debt

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The University of Louisville makes millions of dollars every year from playing basketball in the KFC Yum! Center, all while the city of Louisville loses millions at the expense of local taxpayers.

A state audit of the arena is now putting that disparity into context.

Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon on Tuesday said while the arena's assets have dwindled, the UofL Athletic Association's have climbed.

That's due to extremely over-optimistic projections regarding tax income, combined with a sweetheart deal that funnels suite and signage revenue directly to the university.

Despite the school's large cut, UofL pays just a fraction of the arena's lease payment. Harmon stopped short of saying the public is getting fleeced.

"It's unfortunate the taxpayers are carrying the largest load, and obviously we believe those who are benefiting the most from it, including the University of Louisville, should play an active role in those amounts that are paid," Harmon said.

The audit also found that the arena's bond debt has been paid down just $8 million over eight years, with $341 million still left to pay.

As the arena's bond is refinanced, Harmon called on UofL to pay more on its end.

Late last year, athletic director Tom Jurich said publicly that he didn't think the Yum! Center wanted the Cards there, and threatened to leave the 7-year-old facility to start making plans for a new arena on UofL's campus.

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