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More details emerge on potential new LSU arena

4 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Tuesday, March 05 2024 Mar 5, 2024 March 05, 2024 8:25 PM March 05, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Despite still needing crucial approval from city leaders, the storied 'LSU Arena' is ready to go.

"It was probably a little over a year ago where I would say we started aggressively pursuing some options," LSU Athletics COO Keli Zinn said.

Zinn has been working closely with the Tiger Athletic Foundation (TAF) and other stakeholders. Though the potentially $400 million arena will be paid for by the developer, the university is working in tandem since the goal for the arena is to host some LSU sports. Several college towns around the country have completed similar projects.

"We found ourselves in a place where we started pursuing an opportunity for us to bring to LSU a similar venue that does exist at the University of Texas."

The Moody Center in Austin cost around $300 million and was completely privately funded, which again is the plan for the proposed arena at LSU.

In the year since the Moody Center's opening, it has hosted big acts like Bruce Springsteen, Harry Styles, and Tim McGraw, as well serving as the home court for UT's basketball team.

"We see it really as a community asset even before an athletics asset, and I say that because there's probably an opportunity of anywhere from 60-80 events in a given year that that arena could host."

The entire project can only move forward if the Metro Council agrees to restrict the types of events hosted by the River Center. Developers have stated they do not want the competition. Last year the River Center had 11 concerts.
If it is approved, they are ready to start pretty much immediately.

"Where we are at right now is we have the ordinance that's pending that hopefully will get approved on March 13. At that point, we're positioned to immediately move to an RFP to start to narrow down our list of potential developers. We think we are well positioned to move this forward at a pretty aggressive pace here within the next four to five months."

Overall, Zinn says they hope to have the arena ready to host top acts in the next five years, but first they need to nail down a location for the potential 15,000+ seat venue.

"At this point, there are a few sites that are being looked at on LSU's campus and some opportunity that exists out near baseball and tennis and all of the acreage that currently exists within that space."

One of the locations on their list is LSU's 250-acre golf course off Nicholson and Gourrier.

Two locations that have already been researched and vetoed for being cost prohibitivethe PMAC and Bernie Moore track.

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