In an effort to provide our listeners with actual facts (as opposed to blatant misinformation) regarding the West Haymarket Arena vote upon which they can base their decision, tomorrow we’re kicking off our “Arena Wednesday” series. Each Wednesday between now and the election we’re going to take one issue related to the arena discussion and examine it in-depth with experts, advocates from both sides, and of course, your calls and emails.
We’re going to start tomorrow with an examination of the relationship between the proposed Lincoln arena and Qwest Center Omaha. We’ll talk to Qwest Center CEO Roger Dixon and ask him to clarify what seem to be inconsistent facts cited by people on each side of the arena debate as to the financial success or lack thereof of the Omaha venue. We’ll also find out what Roger thinks about the potential coexistence or competition between venues in both Lincoln and Omaha.
Here’s what’s on the slate for the following Wednesdays:
1) On Solid Ground? (Early April)
How polluted is the soil under those railroad tracks? How much will it cost to remove the bad soil? Is the city covered if the price tag exceeds the budget?
2) Future of Pershing & Devaney (March 17)
What will become of Pershing Center if a new arena is built? What use will Devaney Center have?
2) Parking & access to new arena (date TBA)
Is there enough parking for 16,000 patrons? What about access to the already crowded Haymarket before and after events?
3) Location, location, location (date TBA)
Why is the Haymarket the choice? Couldn’t the arena work in a less congested area? Does it need to be downtown?
4) The financial question (date TBA)
Can Lincoln afford the financing? Why are we voting on $24 million dollars of a $344 million dollar project? How conservative are the revenue projections? What hit will this have on property taxes if the projections aren’t met?
5) Beyond the arena (date TBA)
Will we have empty storefronts south of the arena? What about a hotel? What is the ice center and how much will it impact the overall project?
If you’ve got any additional issues you’d like us to examine or have any suggestions for interviews on any of these subjects, feel free to chime in.