Small Arena, Giant Price Tag, New Details On The Lubbock County Expo Center
LISTEN: Randy Jordan with Chad Hasty:
Randy Jordan, Chairman of the Lubbock County Expo Center Board, joined Chad Hasty on Thursday, November 30th to discuss the progress and details for the Lubbock County Expo Center. Lubbock County voters in 2018 approved an increase in the HOT tax to pay for a portion of the project with the board of the Expo Center responsible for the rest of the cost of the project.
According to Jordan, the increase in the hotel and rental car tax will bring in around $40 million dollars for the construction of the Lubbock County Expo Center. That means the board will need to raise the rest of the money. Jordan told Hasty that they are around $13 million dollars away from raising $47 million.
But that is just for Phase 1 of the project which has exploded in cost. The original estimated price for the entire project in 2018 was around $50 million dollars. Now the entire project will cost at least $110 million and will be broken into three phases according to Jordan.
Phase 1 will build the arena and warm-up area. According to Jordan, the arena will seat 5,500 people with enough standing room to allow for 9,000 people on the concrete floor depending on configuration and event. But for most rodeo and equestrian events, the seating capacity is 5,500. There will not be a way to expand seating in the future according to Jordan.
Jordan didn't say when dirt will start moving and construction will be underway, but he did tell Hasty that not all $47 million dollars has to be in the bank for construction to begin. Jordan told Hasty that they are going to make plans to get an "interim financing loan, a permanent construction loan, we'll have these things that will be paid back on the private side."
We aren't going to have $47 million in the bank. What we will have are pledges and trusts, things that will be sent out there where by we know we've got that available to us in the future. So no, we're not going to have to have it all in the bank, but we aren't going to move dirt until everybody is firmed up and everybody feels like we've got a plan that a viable plan.
When asked if Lubbock County Commissioners would say the same thing about when to start construction, Jordan said yes.
Exact same thing, yes sir. They are not going to move forward until they are comfortable with where they are at with the bond, with the cash, and where the private side funding can show a plan whereby it's viable. That we've got private side funding in place to move forward.
You can listen to the full interview with Randy Jordan below.