City, UNO Moves Forward on New Arena

Jake Wasikowski

City, UNO Moves Forward on New Arena

CREATED Jul. 2, 2013

Omaha, NE -- The city and UNO are closer to an agreement for building the new arena near Aksarben Village.  Omaha will likely shell out millions of dollars for infrastructure improvements, but who's paying for that?

Tuesday, the Omaha City Council approved the preliminary plan in preparation for the final plan.  Grading work is already being done at the site near 64th Ave. & Center St. UNO Chancellor John Christensen and Athletic Director Trev Alberts spoke in favor of the new arena plan saying it will help change the face of the university.  Hockey, basketball, and volleyball will be played there.

"It opens up additional incremental corporate sponsorship revenue, ticket revenue, all of those things that we currently don't participate in those would become a reality based on a facility near campus," Alberts explained.

It also means that the city will have to come up with about $6 million to build infrastructure.  Though Mayor Stothert's office is tightening budgets, they want the arena to move forward but without costing taxpayers more, or hurting other projects.

"We are supportive of this project it does have an economic impact on the city and the university as a whole,” said Cassie Seagren, Deputy Chief of Staff.  "We'll participate in a fashion that doesn't increase taxes, and doesn't deviate from the current CIP."

The mayor’s office wouldn't specify where they're looking to get the money from.  The UNO arena plan will now go back to the planning department, and then to the city council soon for final approval.