SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Shreveport City Council backs a preliminary proposal to build a sports arena and mixed-use development.
Council members voted 5-2 Tuesday in favor of introducing the first legislation for the facilities. It starts the process of securing $30 million dollars. It doesn't obligate the city at this point. A final vote will take place September 12.
The project aims to bolster the city's bid to lure the New Orleans Pelicans' g-league team.
City administrators unveiled plans Tuesday for the proposed Shreveport Sports Complex.
Artist's concepts of the arena and mixed-use development were shown during the City Council meeting.
Mayor Ollie Tyler released details of a more than $100 million mixed-use development along the Cross Bayou corridor that will be anchored by the sports complex.
The two-level arena would have a team store, offices, locker rooms and more on one floor.
The other floor of the 68,000-square-foot venue would include public seating for 3,200 and concessions.
A Birmingham, Ala., company would be behind the accompanying mixed-use development that would include a hotel site, retail food and beverage outlets and parking. The theme would be Live, Work, Play, Stay.
City administrators also have tossed about the idea of the New Orleans Saints possibly using the venue as a practice facility
"This sports complex which is what the resolution dealt with today is just the anchor to the entire development along the corridor," said Mayor Ollie Tyler.
Tyler believes the development would be a major economic driver.
"This project is not just for Shreveport. It's for the entire ArkLaTex," said Tyler. "There are more than 2 million people in this particular vicinity who would like to come to Shreveport and be part of something like an NBA major league team," she continued.
The $169 million dollar price tag is being financed through a public-private partnership. The city says there would be no additional tax burden for citizens.
The city would pay $30 Million dollars for the sports complex. The city attorney says that money is specifically earmarked for riverfront development. The development is anticipated to be self-sustaining down the line.
Mayor Tyler says if the Pelicans do decide to make Shreveport home, they've agreed to lease terms that would keep them here until the bonds mature. She says that's proof the Pelicans will invest and stay in the city.
Several citizens both for and against also showed up at city council to make their voice heard Tuesday.
Some councilmen, like Michael Corbin, said there needs to be more public education about this proposal, citing emails and calls he's received from constituents.
Councilman Willie Bradford questioned whether citizens would support the team and actually go to games.
Oliver Jenkins noted that the city should explore all economic opportunities at this point.