Montgomery County, TN officials have approved funding for a new Clarksville arena, voting Tuesday to borrow $130.7 million for the project.
Billed as the Clarksville Multi-Purpose Events Center (MPEC), the new arena would be located in downtown Clarksville. The NHL’s Nashville Predators are expected to mange the venue, while Austin Peay State University has been anticipated to be the lead tenant, using the facility for games for its men’s and women’s basketball programs.
The proposal has been in the works for a few years, and moved forward Tuesday when Montgomery County Commissioners voted 17-4 to borrow $130.7 million for the project. A stipulation in that approval requires contracts with the Predators and Austin Peay, which Montgomery County’s mayor feels are close to being obtained. More from The Leaf-Chronicle:
An attempt by [commissioner Joshua] Beal on the commission floor to have the decision put to a public referendum failed. It remains to be seen if there might be an organized grassroots attempt at a referendum forthcoming.
Commissioner John Gannon placed a stipulation on approval of the downtown Clarksville arena design and construction funding in that there must be contracts signed with the Nashville Predators to manage it and for Austin Peay State University as lead tenant. Both measures have been promised as part of the proposal.
County Mayor Jim Durrett told The Leaf-Chronicle after the meeting he doesn’t foresee a problem for his long-promoted multipurpose events center (MPEC) plan with the addition of Gannon’s amendment provision. Durrett indicated again Monday that signed deals with both key players in the MPEC are close at hand….
“It was a big vote tonight,” Durrett said. “It think it shows that we have 17 commissioners that see the vision and want to get something done for this community.”
The arena would be used for a variety of events, including college basketball games, hockey tournaments, concerts, ice shows, and more. It might also serve as part of a larger wave of development in downtown Clarksville, as the Clarksville Montgomery County Economic Development Council announced plans Wednesday for a $50-million, four-acre retail development that is being planned for land between the arena and a hotel that would be renovated.