Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher creates Louisville Arena Authority

Press Release Date:  Friday, December 16, 2005  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker

Chris Gilligan

Panel Will Oversee Design, Construction and Operation of Complex

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Following the recommendation of the Louisville Arena Task Force, Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced members to the newly created Louisville Arena Authority, Inc. They will oversee the design, construction and operation of the proposed Louisville Arena complex. Jim Host was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Authority to a four-year term. The governor appointed ten members, while the Louisville mayor, Jerry Abramson, appointed five members. The governor’s appointees are: 

  • Jim Host – Chairman
  • Larry Bisig – CEO of Bisig-Impact Marketing
  • Todd Blue – Co-Managing Director of Cobalt Ventures, LLC, Represents Young Professionals of Louisville
  • Alice Houston – Senior Executive for Houston-Johnson, Inc.
    Jim Patterson – CEO of Pattco
  • Zev Buffman – Executive Director of the Riverport Authority, Owensboro
  • Dan Ulmer – Former Chairman PNC Bank, Louisville
  • Bob Woolery – Retired Attorney, Ashland
  • Junior Bridgeman – Chairman of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees
  • Cissy Musselman – Chairman of the Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau  

The mayor has recommended the following five appointees to the Louisville Metro Council for approval:

  • Larry Hayes – Louisville Metro Deputy Mayor
  • Reba Doutrick – Director of Community Relations, Insight Communications
  • Neville Blakemore III – Owner of Great Northern Manufacturing Co. and Chief Marketing Officer for Nova Group Investments LLC
  • William Summers V – Vice President, Central Bank of Jefferson County
  • Lindy Street – Civic Volunteer and former Senior Vice President for Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation 

“A lot of time and effort has gone into the planning of this project. Now it is time to make it a reality,” said Governor Fletcher. “The Arena Authority will guide the commonwealth as we pursue plans to build a sports and entertainment complex in Louisville. They will oversee the project and ensure that the best interests of the commonwealth are served.” 

“I appreciate the willingness of these outstanding leaders to guide the creation and development of what will be a major economic catalyst for the commonwealth and our community,” Abramson said. 

The Arena Authority will be a non-profit entity able to buy and hold property, negotiate and sign contracts. They also sell bonds to pay for the arena complex and hire a corporation to manage day to day operations of the arena complex. The original Louisville Arena Task Force recommended that the Fair Board be hired to manage the day to day operations of the facility, in order to ensure continuity with events and other facilities in Jefferson County. 

“This is the next step of many in providing an economic catalyst to Kentucky’s economic engine,” said Host. “Governor Fletcher talks about hope and opportunity. By creating the authority, he has created a group that will help create thousands of jobs, millions of dollars of new taxes for the state and hundreds of millions of dollars of public and private investment in downtown Louisville.” 

The Arena Authority will be administratively attached to the Commerce Cabinet’s Office of the Sports Authority. The corporation will be dissolved upon final payment on the debt for the complex.  

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