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Ground broken on arena, but no lease with UNL?

I think the Journal Star buried the lead on this story about the arena groundbreaking — which was skipped by UNL athletic officials.

After all the pomp and circumstance that groundbreakings are built for, the story contained some rather interesting actual news: That the city still has not finalized its lease agreement with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

And the fact that Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne skipped the groundbreaking — “I had something come up,” he told the reporter — makes me wonder what’s going on behind the scenes. I thought they had this lease deal hammered out a long time ago.

Remember when the Board of Regents approved an agreement to create the Joint Public Agency and forge ahead with the project?

The reporter who covered the groundbreaking noted that a construction hard hat reserved for a Husker mascot — complete with “a Lil Red” name on it — lay unused at the groundbreaking.

That’s a good detail to include in the story — and a strong indication something may be afoot. Here’s hoping more reporting will be done by the LJS on this.

You’d think with the city paying a Lincoln company $24,000 to build and maintain a pro-arena, cheerleading website and Facebook page, that they would be really good at keeping the site updated. But if you check out the home page, they still have “June milestones” and a now-outdated story that the groundbreaking is “today.” For $24,000 — plus who knows how much in monthly maintenance fees — don’t taxpayers deserve better?

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