Council votes against proposed Shreveport sports complex - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

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Council votes against proposed Shreveport sports complex

Shreveport City Council unanimously denies a resolution to take the first step toward issuing $30 million in bonds to build a sports complex in downtown Shreveport. (Source: KSLA News 12) Shreveport City Council unanimously denies a resolution to take the first step toward issuing $30 million in bonds to build a sports complex in downtown Shreveport. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Robert Thomas, a resident of Shreveport's MLK neighborhood, had a simple message Sept. 12 for City Council members. (Source: Nick Lawton/KSLA News 12) Robert Thomas, a resident of Shreveport's MLK neighborhood, had a simple message Sept. 12 for City Council members. (Source: Nick Lawton/KSLA News 12)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

The Shreveport City Council unanimously denied a resolution Tuesday night to take the first step toward issuing $30 million in revenue bonds to build a sports complex in downtown Shreveport.

The vote to approve was 0-6 with one council member absent, District G's Jerry Bowman.

After 90 minutes of public comments, council members began their discussion, saying they'd been "bombarded" by calls and emails from residents.

Many council members pointed to residents' uncertainty about the details of the project as the reason behind their "No" votes.

"The private dollars? I have no problem with the private development. Most of the opposition that I have received has been strictly about the arena," District F's Stephanie Lynch said.

Some council members were in favor of starting the entire process over again with more transparency.

"There is a thick fog over the details of this project. There's misunderstandings," said District D's Michael Corbin.

Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler said even if the council voted the resolution down, she would keep working to bring more economic development to Shreveport.

"If you vote 'No' today, that's OK!" she told council members before their vote. "But I've done my job and I will continue to look for opportunities to improve Shreveport. I won't stop because I made a commitment."

Many people turned out Tuesday to voice their opinions on the proposed sports arena and multi-use development.

It was standing room only that afternoon as the City Council was set to vote on two conflicting resolutions.

One resolution, authored by Lynch, urged the mayor to decline the opportunity for Shreveport to land an NBA G-league team affiliated with the New Orleans Pelicans.

And Resolution 147 which was denied, would have taken the first step toward funding the project by activating the city's bond team to begin exploring options to dedicate $30 million in city revenue bonds to the arena.

Tyler Comeaux, managing member of Shreveport for Pelicans, said a "Yes" vote Tuesday would not bind the city to a new arena but would start the process and assures New Orleans Pelicans that they're serious.

Shreveporter Sammy Mears says he is for the arena because he'd like to see other potential sports it could bring like Olympic gymnastics meets.

Robert Thomas, who lives in Shreveport's MLK neighborhood, said he has one simple message to City Council members about a new sports arena.

John Hampson, an organizer for Citizens Against the Arena, says the group has collected 700 signatures against the arena.

Marilyn and Vernon Varnell, who live Shreveport's Southern Hills neighborhood, came out Tuesday to speak against the city's proposed $30 million sports arena.

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