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Lincoln voters approve new Haymarket arena

New Lincoln Arena Rendering

Residents overwhelmingly approved a proposal for a new Lincoln arena in the city’s Haymarket District, with 56 percent of the voters in yesterday’s referendum approving, clearing the way for Cornhusker basketball teams to begin play there in 2013.

The vote came in an election with higher-than-normal turnout, with almost 40 percent of residents showing up at the polls.

The referendum issue wasn’t actually for the arena project: it was for a $25 million general bond issue posited as the final piece of the funding for the $344-million project.

There’s an added benefit for Cornhusker fans: Besides giving the basketball teams a new home and the coaches a recruiting advantage, it saves the University of Nebraska about $30 million, as renovations to the Devaney Sports Center will be scaled back. The original $50 million renovation plan planned on the teams staying on campus, but now the renovations can be cut back to practice space and little more.


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