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Louisville is facing serious issues and it could affect all Kentuckians

If you’ve read Midnight in the garden of Good and Evil, you know the book details a murder in Savannah, Georgia. It also documents Savannah’s culture and society. Our Commonwealth may have its own version minus the murder, although Louisville taxpayers, and ultimately Kentucky taxpayers, may very well soon have murder (figuratively) on their minds.


Lost in the kerfuffle of Chane Behannan's dismissal for the University of Louisville basketball team and the red shirting of Kevin Ware is another downgrade of the debt on the KFC Yum! Center (aka The YAM Center) by Standard and Poor's. (S&P) is following Moody's Investors Service downgrade. Both rating agencies have relegated the $340 million bond debt on the palatial arena (or "arener" if you're from New York) to "junk" status. This could possibly affect Kentucky fans as much as Louisville fans.

The Louisville main media outlet (the Courier Journal) has not addressed the issue until yesterday, December 30th as you can see in this article by Sebastian Kitchen. I'm not going to get into the details of the Arena's debt problems because you should read the article yourself, but I will say that Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has passed it off in a "move on, nothing to see here" attitude. Since I no longer live in Kentucky, I don't have a dog in this fight, but I will say that the Courier Journal was not the first to cover the story. I will also say that our readers who live in the Commonwealth do have a dog in the fight.

On Christmas Eve, Louisville taxpayers were presented with this gift from Louisville Insider's Terry Boyd. Before the Courier Journal got around to the 12/30 article above, Boyd published this article at Louisville Insider on 12/27 which compares the bond downgrade to the economic debt quandaries of Greece. Read all three articles before making a judgment concerning the KFC Yum! Center. I might suggest, however, that you might also want to read the comment section of Boyd's latest work and make up your own mind about who is right on a renegotiation of the arena's contract with the University of Louisville.

There is nothing wrong with the financial tools used to build the arena. Orlando used similar methods to build the Amway Center for the NBA's Orlando Magic. Brooklyn, NY probably used the same financial tools for the Barclays Center. The Orlando Magic, however, contributed to the funding of the Amway Center. If you read about these arenas, both have some lucrative contracts with professional teams and other events. Now, read this about the Yam Center and you can clearly see a difference from the other two arenas.

Two sites were involved in discussions. Many favored the site owned by The Louisville Water Company and the other site was owned by Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E). Here's an amusing quote regarding the location of the arena which was purchased from LG&E:

In March 2006, University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino stated he would not coach in an arena built at the water company site.[15]

You know which site was chosen. If not, you can guess.

There are several conspiracy theories about the arena due to the fact that the University of Louisville is the sole tenant and the favorable contract for the University of Louisville. The most prominent theory is that the university will eventually own the arena via taxpayer expense because of the current debt problems which will only get worse unless some economic miracle happens in the taxing district.

So, midnight is approaching in Louisville and you have to wonder about the "Good and Evil" part. I am reminded of an excerpt from John Donne:

...Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell to tolls. It tolls for thee.

One final note: Boyd's first article mentions Clifford Rippetoe whose profile is linked. Any familial relationship would have to go back at least ten generations to three brothers (John, William and Peter) in Virginia whose father came to America (South Carolina) in 1692 from England after fleeing France due to religious persecution (Hugenots). Just some useless information for clarity.