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September 8, 2011


Ground broken on arena, but no lease with UNL?

by Deena Winter

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 But if you check out the home page, they still have “June milestones” and a now-outdated story that the groundbreaking is “today.”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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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jane H Kinsey
    Sep 8 2011

    The last item is a good question to bring up especially since Regent Clare touted that at the
    groundbreaking ceremony, at least on television, channel 8. Is it possible the U is holding out
    for more of a financial break?

  2. Roger Yant
    Sep 8 2011

    What I want to know is there an actual set of blue prints of the arena for the public to see? If not, how did they get permit to build, who signed off on them. Did they have to go the same doors that if I wanted to build a storage shed for my mower in my back yard, did they have to follow the city code? Did they turn in 3 sets of prints, did all the departments approve them and give them the go ahead? I think not, this is being pushed through without a COMPLETE set of prints.

  3. Carol
    Sep 8 2011

    I am not surprised. Transparency what a joke !

  4. Scott Wendt
    Sep 8 2011

    I’ve read the JPA agreement and I can’t think of a thing the University could ask for that they don’t already have. The city really gave away the store to get them on board.

  5. Commenter
    Sep 8 2011

    So how’s that resolution coming, Deena, about letting go of your lingering negativity and little jabs about the Journal Star?

    • tfw
      Sep 13 2011

      Sure is a funny thing that when someone states the facts, who presented them and adds their opinion as to the veracity(sp?) of such, rather than debate the facts, etc. people have to resort to character assination.


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