A proposed arena in Yuma, Az., to be managed by Global Entertainment is on the ballot tomorrow. Will voters — engaged in rather contentious discussions on the subject — approve the proposal?
Yuma may be an unlikely battleground for an arena battle, but voters are going to the polls to decide on the fate of a proposed new arena to be built and managed by Global Entertainment.
It has proven to be a contentious isse, to be sure: any time the Yuma Sun does an article about the proposed arena the commenters come out to point out all the unsuccessful arenas developed by Global Entertainment — usually the train weck in Youngstown, sometimes Rio Grande or Prescott — that require an ongoing city subsidy. Left unmentioned: new arenas in Independence or the successes in Loveland, Col. and Hildalgo.
Indeed, what Global Entertainment is proposing is pretty much the same as in all those other cities: Yuma would create a financing program to build the arena, and Global Entertainment would manage the facility and (more than likely) bring a CHL team in as a tenant.
But that’s missed in all heat and smoke of discussions is exactly what voters are being asked to approve. According to Deputy City Administrator Bob Stull: "Passage of Proposition 400 would authorize city staff to continue negotiations to develop, finance, equip and operate a multipurpose events center. It also would authorize the city to enter into a contract with one or more minor league sports franchises." So the voters are not being asked to approve an arena: they’re authorizing the city to enter into discussions.
And the proposition does not mention Global Entertainment by name. Indeed, the city would be free to negotiation with any firm wishing to bring a new arena to town — AEG, SMG, etc. — and does nto guarantee any minor-league sports in the mix.