Local News

Workman To Retire From State Fair Board

Kentucky State Fair Board President Harold Workman has announced his retirement effective December 31st.

He made the announcement during today’s regular board meeting.

Workman says he was under no pressure to step down from the post he’s held since 1993, but questions were raised earlier this year about his future amid a decline in revenue over the past few years, due in part to the shutdown of the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park.

Workman was also criticized by the board last month for his firing of the KFC Yum Center manager.

Workman’s contract was due to expire at the end of June. The board says it will launch a national search for a successor.

Local News

Louisville Sports Venues Earn Accolades

The KFC Yum! Center was recently listed as the 24th best concert arena in the world by It was named the 10th best overall venue in the nation.

Louisville and the state of Kentucky have made several lists recently, including ‘fattest states‘ and most family-friendly cities.

It’s easy to discount these lists as arbitrary or frivolous, but there is something to be said for garnering any sort of national attention. Especially when it’s recognition for something like Louisville Slugger Field or could encourage tourism.

GQ/Yahoo Travel published a list of ‘The Coolest Small Cities in America‘ this week, saying:

“Here’s a pocket of our culture where where dirt-cheap field-level tickets are available at the walk-up counter, where kids can run the bases after the game without getting tased. Enjoy the slightly absurd undercurrent. Free gas-card giveaways! Win-or-lose fireworks! Appearances by semifamous local animals! We’re fans of the Louisville Bats, a Triple A club that draws more than 8,000 fans per home game. That’s just enough to summon a genuine crowd roar, but never enough to jam up the line for the bathroom trough.”

It’s an interesting list that praises Louisville for it’s triple-A baseball games, while noting other cities’ food or music.

Local News

Jill Biden Cancels Trip to Louisville

Scheduling conflicts have forced Jill Biden to cancel her trip to Louisville today.  She was scheduled to make an appearance at the first-ever “USO Home front Concert” tonight at the KFC Yum Center.

The free concert is for military families and the volunteers who support them. It’s a joint effort of the USO and the Kentucky National Guard. The event marks the first USO concert created especially for military families.

The anticipated audience includes 32 million homes in the U.S. and over 378 bases worldwide.

The concert is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Local News Noise & Notes

UPDATE II: Arena Authority Owes Over $55,000 in Taxes

Records from the Jefferson County Clerk’s office show the Louisville Arena Authority owes the city over $55,000 in delinquent property taxes for year 2010.

Established by the Metro Council in 2006, the quasi-government agency was created to oversee constructing of the $238 million KFC Yum Center, which opened six months ago in the bosom of downtown Louisville.

The authority now supervises the arena’s day-to-day operations and features a who’s who list of local business leaders on its board of directors. According to local tax records, however, the authority currently owes $55,319 if paid by the end of May. If not, another interest penalty will be added and increase the delinquent tax to $55,919.

From LEO Weekly:

Local News

Arena Authority Anticipating Profits

by Sheila Ash

The Louisville Arena Authority expects the KFC Yum Center to make a profit in its first full year of operation.

The authority voted Monday to accept two proposed budgets that anticipate millions in extra revenue.

The capital budget calls for the authority to take in 1.4 million more than it will pay in debt service and the operating budget anticipates a 1.2 million dollar profit.

Arena Authority Chairman Jim Host says predictions are based on 94 events–including University of Louisville basketball games–that are currently scheduled or will be scheduled.

But Host says the firm hired to bring in concerts and events feels the facility can host even more acts per year.

“AEG says they think we can do 140,” he says. “And when they did the agreement with us and did the press conference with us they think we can do 140.  I’ll be happy if we do 110 and the budget’s based on 94, but if we did 140 it’s a big time home run.”

The budget also anticipates that Metro Government will pay 6.5 million dollars toward the arena’s debt. Host says the authority could repay up to 2.6 million dollars back to the city.

Local News Next Louisville Politics

Officials Pleased With Arena’s First Month Of Operation

The people who run Louisville’s new downtown arena say there haven’t been any major problems with traffic and parking during its first month of operation.

Arena Authority Chairman Jim Host says it appears most people who have attended concerts and athletic events at the KFC YUM! Center found a suitable parking spot near the site.

“I think what’s happened is that a lot of people have figured out that you can park two or three blocks from the arena and walk, and that’s what people are doing…the arena garage hasn’t been totally full yet,” he said.

Host also credits Louisville Metro Police with keeping traffic moving, even when there are events at nearby venues such as the Kentucky Center and Actor’s Theatre.

Local News Next Louisville

Officials Cut Ribbon On New Arena

Louisville’s new downtown arena is now officially open for business. A ribbon-cutting for the new facility was held Sunday.

Officials threw open the doors of the KFC YUM! Center to the public after an hourlong ceremony during which Governor Steve Beshear noted the diverse events the 22,000 seat arena will hold in the coming months.

“The Eagles, Lady Gaga, championship ladies’ volleyball, four religious conventions, a home for the University of Louisville’s Cardinals,” he said.

Men’s coach Rick Pitino told the crowd that he initially had doubts that the project would ever get off the ground.

“Then (arena authority chariman) Jim Host got involved and I knew it had a chance, and then they were haggling over the site, everybody had their individual agendas for that. Fortunately, reasonable minds came to the decision to put it on the river, and as you look at the place when you get inside, you realize what a great site it is,” he said.              

Indide the arena, hundreds of people took the opportunity to mill around and try out the seats. Among them was U of L fan Gary Stratton.

“I love it. I love (being) next to the river. The river view is great,” he said.

The first major event in the arena will be a concert by the Eagles next Sunday.

Public tours of the arena will be conducted on October 19.


Local News

Medical Care Center To Open In Arena

A new medical facility will open in Louisville’s downtown arena next week.

The KFC Yum Center officially opens Sunday, and on Monday, Norton Healthcare’s immediate care center inside the building will begin operations. Director of immediate care centers Anna Newkirk says it will keep regular daily hours and will be accessible, even during arena events.

“Patients can take a bus, walk or come with a car just a few blocks,” she says. “There are lots of parking garages around us. Our patients will have some dedicated spaces in the garage under the arena.”

Newkirk says the center will not necessarily be open during all arena events, but Norton will run the arena’s first aid stations.

Local News

Clark Memorial Bridge To Be Closed For Arena Work

The Clark Memorial Bridge will be closed Monday and Tuesday due to construction on the KFC Yum Center.

Crews need to put a crane on the bridge so they can put the Cardinal logo and other signs on the arena. The bridge will be closed from 7 pm to 5 am both days. Transportation Cabinet spokesperson Andrea Clifford says most motorists are likely accustomed to taking an alternate route when the bridge is closed for other reasons.

“The Clark Memorial Bridge is a route that a lot of organizations like to use for, you know, 5K runs and walks and the Iron Man and things such as that,” she says. “We get applications for the closure of that bridge, it’s usually for weekends like Saturday mornings or Sunday mornings when the traffic volumes are not as high.”

The bridge will remain open to pedestrian traffic all week.

Local News Next Louisville

Grand Opening Of New Arena Is Next Month

The Louisville Arena Authority is making plans for next month’s opening of the city’s new downtown arena.

Authority Chairman Jim Host says final touches are being applied to the riverfront facility in anticipation of an October 10 ribbon cutting.

“Vice-Chairman (Larry) Hayes and I took an inspection tour that lasted a long time Friday afternoon. We went through every single inch of that place, to look for any last minute changes that we felt needed to be made. we didn’t find anything major at all,” he said.

Host says the authority will soon launch a communications campaign on traffic and parking around the arena.

A concert by the Eagles will be the first official arena event on October 16. Public tours of the facility will be held October 19 and 20. They’re free, but tickets must be obtained. They will be available starting October 11 at Ticketmaster, the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center.