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Bonds issued for Louisville arena

It’s a key first step towards the construction of a new arena for Louisville.
Fiscal issues such as guaranteed bonds tend to make many folks eyes glaze over. But they are vital to getting projects off the ground.

So it is Assured Guaranty Corporation’s guarantee of nearly $340 million in bonds is one of the biggest things to happen to the porposed new basketball arena for Louisville. The arena,
which will be located in downtown Louisville, is also expected to be used to host other sporting and entertainment events as well.

The 22,000 seat facility, which is being designed by HOK Sport, is scheduled to be ready for use by the college’s basketball teams in 2010. The $252 million facility is being described by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher as "Kentucky’s Times Square and Rockefeller Center.”

AGC said it will guarantee $319 million of fixed rate tax-exempt and another $20 million of fixed rate taxable bonds for the Louisville Arena Authority, which is overseeing the project.

The bonds are secured by annual payments from the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, a consolidated local council representing all of Jefferson County, incremental
State of Kentucky property and sales tax revenues and other revenues such as naming rights, advertising, rentals, ticket surcharges andconcessions.

The new facility will replace Freedom Hall, which has been the home of U of Louisville basketball since 1956.