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Mayor Greg Fischer on the KFC Yum! Center


Photo by John Nation

Insider Louisville sat down with the city’s mayor, Greg Fischer, to discuss the financial woes of the KFC Yum! Center, and its affect on the taxpayers. It’s an important read for any Kentuckian, not just Cardinal fans. So no griping about KSR being too interested in L1C4, ok? Deal.

As you probably are aware, the two largest debt rating agencies in the world “have downgraded the $340 million in Yum! Center construction bonds to “junk” status.”

Additionally, the area surrounding the arena is not generating the revenue that was anticipated, and of course, the University of Louisville holds that ever so ridiculous lease with the Yum! Center. As Kendrick Lamar would say, “all my life I want money and power,” Louisville clearly got it in this deal.

Insider Louisville asked several important questions in this brief interview, and I’ve chosen segments of Fischer’s responses to share with you.

The first IL question raised was whether there was a possibility of default by the city. 

No. As long as the city can meet its obligation for payment, the bonds are going to be fine. I’m not defending the deal that was struck with the master tenant (University of Louisville), but there’s a legal obligation in place, a contract in place, in which the city has a minimum payment of $6.5 million a year, and a maximum of $9.8 million. So as long as we can make that maximum payment, we should be fine.

IL: “Given your business background, from a cost-benefit perspective, do you think this was a good deal for the city?”

You have the main tenant being the University of Louisville, and they had their position when they were negotiating the contract. And, as I said, I wasn’t there, so I assume both parties came to some point they felt was reasonable. My job right now is just to make sure we live by the contract, and if conditions change dramatically, obviously we’ll need to have discussions, but as of now we can make the payments.

[Insider Louisville talks with Mayor Fischer about the Yum! Center’s financial woes] 

Article written by Brennan English

Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. @BrennanKSR

18 Comments for Mayor Greg Fischer on the KFC Yum! Center

  1. M
    2:42 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

    Need link to watch game on mobile @ a cheer comp in Richmond 🙁

  2. tyrus
    3:07 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

    Jim Host lead Louisville down the wrong path.

  3. UKBlue
    3:26 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

    Deny Deny Deny reality is the business plan for the Yum Center. Arena Authority paid Hilliard Lyons $10K a month to try & get the credit ratings agency to ignore reality; didn’t work. The amount of stupidity & shadiness in this deal & that is still going on is beyond amazing.

  4. jpg
    3:53 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

    I love how bland he is with his answers! He definitely does not want to talk any specifics about how ridiculous the deal is. Jim Host’s main goal was to provide an arena for the state, in it’s largest city, to attract n NBA team, while providing UL with a new place to play ball.

    I bet you Host was not at the meeting to decide on that ridiculous contract, that not only has UL dictating tenants, but has them raking in money from every entertainer that comes in.

  5. How is this not
    4:17 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

    Ksr not simply trying to throw mud at UofL?

    • monkeyhumpnafootball
      9:23 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

      This is not mudslinging. This is the reality of the situation. If you don’t like it then convince your friends to spend money at the Yum Center and its surrounding businesses. Hell most of it would just end up going back to Tom Jurich anyway, so you’d still be supporting your team in doing so.

    • Because
      9:46 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

      It’s completely mudslinging – it’s focusing only on the negative aspects simply because they are envious that UofL has a world class arena and uk has rupp. There’s no way if the situation were reversed, ksr would say anything about it.

    • Brennan English
      11:00 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

      KSR is not a monolith. I published an interview by a Louisville-centric magazine that concerns a sports/news issue relevant to all Kentuckians…

    • Because
      9:00 am January 12, 2014 Permalink

      And you’ve specifically highlighted the aspects of the story that make UofL look bad. I get it – as a KSR writer that’s what you’re tasked to do – but you could at least be honest enough to own it. I stand by my original statement – this would not have been a story that you would have written if it were about rupp arena and uk.

  6. Catlogic15
    6:16 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

    Throw the credibility of Hiz Honor right in there with Jurich, Pitino, and Petrino. Ramsey too.

    What a group of slugs.

  7. bluegrassjimmy
    6:42 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

    I have been hearing The University of Kentucky was going to buy the Yum Center and tear it down and take the tax write off is this true?? LMFAO!!! Take that Louisville fans!!!

    • Ummm
      7:42 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

      Exactly! Then they’re going to take the deconstructed yum center to Lexington and rebuild it so they can actually have a decent arena for once.

    • Unboltedharp
      7:52 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

      No, that would qualify as urban renewal, more likely it would be reconstructed as a pig pen somewhere.

    • Says the
      9:50 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

      Dude still sitting in bleachers

  8. bigbluecountry
    8:30 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

    @umm we would never want an arena named after a chicken bucket lol

    • Right
      9:37 pm January 11, 2014 Permalink

      Better to have one named after the last coach of a basketball team to get the death penalty. In the middle of a mall. That’s waaay better.

    • bigbluecountry
      3:21 am January 12, 2014 Permalink

      Your right we should move your stadium in, Lexington would be stuck with the debt as it fails to produce the income it needs to be sustainable without help, hurting all of us normal tax payers and then we will invite memphis in to embarrass us…..sounds so much better. Its a nice stadium dont get me wrong, lots of potential but the way the money has been handled thus far is sickening

    • Right
      8:54 am January 12, 2014 Permalink

      As opposed to the way tax dollars are handled in general? Umm ok. As Louisville resident it is amusing to me that Kentuckians from other parts of the state are so up in arms about this situation. Perhaps they are worried that Louisville will have less money to keep the rest of the state propped up.