The Yum! Center bond debacle … and an interesting perspective on Freedom Hall.


First, the theme.

A Little Bit More On The Arena Debacle … (The ‘Ville Voice)

… By now you know that the Yum! Center’s been downgraded by Moody’s. But if you don’t, here’s a refresher from Gregory Hall:

A credit rating firm 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 Metro Council President Jim King, who is also a Louisville Arena Authority board member.

Citing persistent risks to the arena’s ability to pay off the $349 million worth of bonds, credit rater Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its opinion of the Yum Center bonds to Ba3, pushing them deeper into “junk” status.

Moody’s said 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.

Then, in the comments section, the variation.

J. Bruce Miller

The ‘real shame’ of all is that had our majority Chinese investors not gotten ‘cold feet’ as a result of the NBA ‘lockout’ there was every indication they would have purchased the Hornets FROM the NBA, moved them to Louisivlle and ‘likely’ have remodeled Freedom Hall. This ‘concept’ was specifically discussed with David Stern. Freedom Hall is ‘historic’ — in actuality — the ‘first integrated basketball palace in America’ for the NCAA — where a whole bunch of Final Fours were played in the 60′s with integrated teams. The place could have been a ‘shrine’ like Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. Such a ‘shrine’ would have been of ‘international importance for Louisville – where the international television of NBA games could have immenated to Beijing, and 180 countries. Stern was interested — but it didn’t happen. Just like Jake’s said so many times “We really have a hard time doing the ‘big things’ right around here.”

Yes, but: If you think it’s hard in Louisville, try living in New Albany.