Taking a Stand: Why a Downtown Stadium

Last week, I took a stand supporting the building of a new arena.  And, another editorial explained our reasoning on why we shouldn't renovate Roberts Stadium.  Today, I look at why we should build downtown.

First of all, let's talk about funding.  No increase in taxes.  The downtown site would be eligible for TIFS or Tax Increment Financing revenues.  Other funding would come from food and beverage taxes and Casino Aztar gambling revenue.  The casino would also benefit from increased traffic with a downtown arena.

And if the arena is built downtown, an Indianapolis developer says he wants to put up a luxury hotel.  A hotel could help with getting more conventions to the Centre.

Parking is a big concern.

The city provided to me a diagram of more than eight thousand parking spots, most of them free, within a five minute walk of the Centre.  Roberts's Stadium has three thousand spaces.  When I attend a Colt's game in Indy, most of the time, I walk more than five minutes and I have to pay.

And finally, as someone who runs a business, I think a busier, more vibrant downtown speaks to the health of a city.  A healthier downtown would help business owners recruit new workers to the Tri-State.  And, with better entertainment choices, hopefully it will stop some of the flight of our younger folks to other cities.

Later this week, we'll give you a sample of your feedback.

To respond to this editorial, send an e-mail or call 812-253-0107.  You can send a letter to me at: Debbie Bush, WFIE-TV, and P.O. Box 1414, Evansville, IN 47701.