Arena Progress is All About Certainty

No, the media tour of the downtown arena site wasn’t a reaction to the recent concrete mishap. No, OSHA didn’t send someone to the site, there’s been someone from OSHA here the whole time. No, the accident won’t affect the ultimate finish date on the arena.

When you’re around Jim Host, chairman of the Louisville Arena Authority, you tend to believe what he says because there’s never any doubt in his voice. Then, when he throws numbers and statistics around and makes bold pronouncements about the safety of the construction site, it’s hard to doubt. Even if that pesky Joe Arnold keeps asking questions about the accident.

About that — the accident area was re-poured June 5, and caused management some time, but didn’t affect the overall schedule.

You can almost believe it when Host says he really expects events like the NCAA Hockey Championship (really, hockey) to be played in the arena someday. He’s already lured the Women’s Volleyball final.

Host, along with Mayor Jer, Dan Ulmer and execs from Mortenson Construction, hosted a horde of media types on a tour this morning, which included a 3D Modeling video showing exactly how the guts of the arena are being put together.


Want some numbers? The cost of construction is about $1,000 a minute, $10 million a month. About 300 workers on site, a number that’s going up. The 14,000 square-foot lobby will be among the largest at any arena in the U.S., and another video showed clearly dozens of hip features, like the television system that allows the venue to control individual screens throughout the arena.

News? How about coming news. Host says he’ll have an announcement soon on a number of national conventions which have committed to Louisville because of the arena, including one that is returning after a 30-year absence. And in July he’ll have an update on the naming rights sales progress.

7 thoughts on “Arena Progress is All About Certainty

  1. Considering the Frozen Four (NCAA’s hockey final four) has been played in Cincinnati and this year in DC — neither city has a college hockey team — it would not surprise me to see it come to Louisville.

    My question is will/has the city bid to host the SEC hoops tournament? It seems like I heard Nashville and Atlanta have it locked up for the next few years. When can we get in for that? (Note: I’m not a UK fan, I just want their money spent here.)

  2. Speaking as a college hockey fan, (My school, Boston University, won this year’s championship), I would love to see the Frozen Four come here. I hope the Arena is booked to the gills and proves all of us neighsayers wrong.

    I still think the location is dumber than shit, though.

  3. If the Arena was going to be ‘booked to the gills’, we’d have heard Host crowing about it all during the tour. Seriously, he couldn’t shut up about the VOLLEYBALL final four when they got that, but now he’s leading a media tour that’s main point seems to be, “We will not stop construction until we are finished with construction”.

    Uhh, Jimbo, was there anyone who doubted this albatross will be finished and hung like a glittering millstone around the neck of this community for 30 years? So why are you marching the media around telling them things everyone already knows?

    How about you talk about all the events that have signed up for the arena (*snicker*) or that $40 million (*snicker*) in naming rights you’ve been promising for a couple of years now? You know the stuff that’s important for PAYING FOR the construction you plan on completing?

    Honestly, anyone else think the tour and the talking points that made the paper (and this blog post) are kind of strange? The spin seems odd to me, and I can’t quite wrap my mind around the reasons for this ‘tour’.

    I’m not sure what it is Host even wants me (or the public) to make of it. Is there serious talk out there about not finishing the project? About it not finishing on time? I didn’t think there was any such talk. So why promise it’ll be done on time? Is that just a code way of saying, “We’ll throw any additional money at this project in order to open it on time. Budget be darned.”

    Really, I’m just trying to see the angle here, as Jimbo always has one. Anyone got ideas about why this tour happened and why it emphasized the things it did? Other than Host liking to keep his name in the news?

  4. Rick, OSHA inspector on site the whole time? FALSE. AL, thank GOD for Joe Arnolds questions about safety, had Mortenson listened to my concerns maybe 3 coworkers would not have been injured on 4-27-09. Rick,all on the tour, including Mr. Host, saw only what Mortenson wanted them to see. Was the ceiling in the players’ garage on the tour? NO. Was the plumbing and electric stubs that have been broken off flush with the floor on the tour?NO. Before I was laid off on 5-12 , over 50 of the stubs had been damaged by Wilhelm. That requires breaking out new concrete flooring to repair damaged stubs.Speaking of floor slabs, anybody notice ponding water on the floors,concrete poured wrong! Notice any rienforcement steel showing in finished floors, steel should have 2 inches of concrete over it. THIN SLABS? Yes Rick, the ARENA will be done on time, but QUALITY wise what is LOUISVILLE getting for it’s money? Some smoke screens are easy to see through if you know what your looking for Mr. Host. BY the way, hear anything about another FATALITY on Wilhelms project in Indianapolis on yesterday?

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