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Yuma voters reject new arena

Yuma (Az.) voters are on their way to rejecting a proposed new arena in yesterday’s elections.Yuma (Az.) voters are well on their way to rejecting a proposed new arena, as the returns from yesterday’s elections show considerable opposition to the measure.

Last night the vote tally was 7,769 "no" votes for Proposition 400, which would have directed city staff to proceed with arena planning and negotiatons, and 6,265 "yes" votes. While there are absentee votes to be counted, both sides acknowledge defeat is inevitable.

To say the discussions leading up to the election were contentious would be an understatement. Those favoring the arena — positioned by supporters as an events center — say it would bring in family entertainment to a city sorely lacking options. Those opposing the arena say it would be an unnecessary drain on city coffers in the midst of bad times. They also objected to the financial plan floated by Global Entertainment, where the firm would profit from the city’s investment and not guarantee a rate of return.

The 6,000-seat arena would be financed by a 1 percent sales tax in the arena area as well as sales tax generated from the facility — basically a form of tax-increment financing. Opponents pointed to Global Entertainment arenas in Youngstown and Rio River running deficits and needing city assistance.

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