LOUISVILLE: Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today the appointment of a task force to study a new arena for Louisville.
“This issue is important for the community and important for the commonwealth,” Governor Fletcher said. “I want to ensure that we have the best possible information going forward before any decisions are made. More information is needed to maximize the positive impact that an arena could bring to Louisville.
“The unique perspectives, experiences and talents of the task force members will ensure that we receive the detailed and objective information needed to continue that progress and maximize the benefit of this project.”
The task force members are:
- Lt. Gov. Steve Pence (non-voting), chairman
- U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell
- U.S. Congresswoman Anne M. Northup
- Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson
- Tom Jurich, University of Louisville Athletic Director
- Commerce Secretary Jim Host, vice-chairman
- State Senator Dan Seum
- State Rep. Larry Clark
- Louisville Metro Councilman Kelly Downard
- John Hindman, vice president of governmental affairs for UPS
- Jim Patterson, owner and president of Pattco, Inc., a private investment firm; co-founder of Rally’s and Chi-Chi’s
- Alice Houston, senior executive for Houston-Johnson, Inc., largest minority-owned transportation company in North America and mother of NBA star Allan Houston
- Eddy Roberts, president of Kentucky operations for BellSouth and chairman of Greater Louisville, Inc.
- Cissy Musselman, chair of the Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau; founder and chair of Women 4 Women, a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise money and public awareness for programs serving women and girls
- John Schnatter, founder, chairman and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, Inc.
- Clestine Lanier, CEO of African American Heritage Museum
- Bill Samuels, president of Maker’s Mark
- Ron Carmicle, Chair of Budget and Finance Committee, Kentucky State Fair Board
"Governor Fletcher deserves a great deal of praise for assembling this group,” Senator McConnell said. “This commission will provide the definitive advice on an arena that is in the best interest of the city of Louisville, UofL and the Commonwealth. I am honored to have been asked to serve."
Lieutenant Governor Pence added: “As a resident of Louisville, I am honored to serve as chairman of the task force, and I am proud that Governor Fletcher is committed to investing in Louisville,” said Lieutenant Governor Pence, who also serves as chairman of the Kentucky Sports Authority. “The fact that Governor Fletcher appointed a task force to study the arena proves he is serious about making sure this project is done right.”
The members of the task force will examine various issues related to building a new arena in Louisville, including a cost-benefit analysis, financing, location and ownership. The task force will work under the direction of the Kentucky Sports Authority.
Governor Fletcher said he hopes the task force will complete its work before the 2006 legislative session.
“The arena would be another key investment in the Louisville community,” Governor Fletcher said. “We want to make sure that we have detailed, objective information so this project will benefit the University of Louisville and the economy.”
The budget recently signed into law by Governor Ernie Fletcher makes almost $500 million in investments in the University of Louisville, the fairgrounds, as well as the bridges and other transportation projects.
In addition, since Governor Fletcher took office, more than 4,000 Louisville jobs were created and almost $400 million was invested in Louisville in new and expanding manufacturing and supportive/service jobs.
The Kentucky Sports Authority, created by Governor Fletcher in January, is a 15-member group responsible for bringing major national and international sporting events, conventions, organizations and franchises, both professional and amateur, to the commonwealth. Its chairman is Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence. http://commerce.ky.gov/cabinet/ksa/