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Mayor's Office

2005 Media Releases

May 19, 2005
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Mark Bowen, Mayor’s Office, 441-7511

Mayor Announces Events Facility Task Force

Mayor Coleen J. Seng announced today the organizations that will participate in the Events Facility Task Force. Mayor Seng said the task force will focus on a unified discussion that must occur to determine how all potential new or expanding facilities would complement or compete with each other.

“I recognize with the need for a new convention and arena facility, but this community cannot afford all the proposals,” said Mayor Seng. “I will push the task force for coordination of the proposals because the community’s financial resources are limited. The lack of coordination between these separate venues speaks to the need to focus the vision.”

On Wednesday, as the Mayor had requested, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission placed the Lancaster County Agricultural Society expansion proposal on pending following its public hearing.

The task force will include representatives from the Lancaster County Event Center, Pershing Center, State Fair Park, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Devaney Sports Complex and Lied Center, the City of Lincoln, the State of Nebraska, the County Board, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Lincoln Association, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the West Haymarket Business Study Group.

The Mayor said the group will begin meeting in June. She said the group will:

  • examine which proposals offer the best opportunity to meet the sports, conference, convention and entertainment markets that generate the most economic opportunity for Lincoln;
  • discuss the source of the proposals’ funding and the impact on the taxpayers’ obligation to subsidize any of the proposals;
  • examine how to prevent duplication and whether proposals can be combined or partnered; and
  • discuss which proposals provide the most flexibility and opportunity for partnership.

Seng repeated her earlier comment that “Lincoln needs to prevent duplication. Working together, we must make the most of our limited public resources to ensure success. Pursuing multiple strategies without regard to the impact on other facilities may well result in failure. To remain competitive, Lincoln needs a new arena and more quality convention space.”

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