City of Lincoln
2005 Media Releases
Events Facility Task Force Report PDF - 53K
Mayor Coleen J. Seng today thanked the Event Facility Task Force members for recommending a sensible cost efficient strategy for Lincoln to follow in planning for a future arena and convention center and for recommending that the Nebraska State Fair and the Lancaster County Fair consolidate at a single location.
“I appreciate the Task Force members’ hard work. A phased approach that takes into account timing, financing ability by the community and a unified governance is the best approach,” Seng said. “This report will be a guide as we develop the right event facilities to serve Lincoln for many years to come. I will begin working with the other local government entities to seek agreement on this approach. Partnerships will be a key to making the recommendations in the report a reality.”
Mayor Seng appointed to the Task Force representatives of the State of Nebraska, the City of Lincoln, the Lancaster County Board, State Fair Park, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Lancaster Events Center, the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Lincoln Association, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the West Haymarket Business Study Group and the Lincoln Independent Business Association. Dick Campbell of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce served as Chair.
Mayor Seng directed the Task Force to examine which proposals offer the best opportunity to meet the sports, conference, convention and entertainment markets that generate the most economic opportunity for Lincoln; discuss the source of the proposals’ funding and the impact on the taxpayers’ obligation to subsidize any of the proposals; examine how to prevent duplication and whether proposals can be combined or partnered; and discuss which proposals provide the most flexibility and opportunity for partnership.
The report recommends that:
The Task Force also urged that any existing plans to expand or develop event facilities be placed on hold until an integrated plan is complete. The report indicates that the integrated plan could be completed in about six months.
In accepting the report, Mayor Seng directed the Task Force to continue working with the State Fair and Lancaster County Agricultural Society to develop an integrated plan and financial study to reunite the State Fair and Lancaster Event Center into a single location. The Task Force also will be charged with developing an integrated financial plan for an arena/hotel/convention facility in the Haymarket area.
“It is time to rebuild the relationship between State Fair and the Ag Society,” said Mayor Seng. The Task Force’s objective analysis and attention to detail can help prevent duplication of public agricultural fair facilities and help reunite the State Fair and Lancaster County Agricultural Society. If the two entities combine efforts and go after the agriculture trade shows, I believe they can achieve some great successes.”