For years, the University of Louisville has benefitted from a cushy deal with the KFC Yum Center, which continues to spiral more and more into debt. Is an end finally in sight?
Wave 3 is reporting that tomorrow afternoon, UofL and the Louisville Arena Authority (which manages the Yum Center) will announce an amendment to UofL’s lease as the arena’s primary tenant. We won’t know the full details of the new deal until then, but Wave 3’s sources say UofL will have to pay $2.5 million “in cash and other givebacks” to the arena each year and that the move represents a “shift in power from the athletics department to the president’s office,” to the point that athletics director Tom Jurich may not even know all of the details himself at this point.
How lopsided has UofL’s lease with the arena become? Check out this graphic from Joe Sonka, which shows how their profits have soared since they made the deal with the Yum Center in 2010:
Terms of UofL/Yum! lease agreement aren't public yet, but issue is how much $$ UofL bball gives up. Since 2011, profits have dwarfed others: pic.twitter.com/JL6FooSUcG
— Joe Sonka 😐 (@joesonka) July 19, 2017
Meanwhile, the arena is critically in debt, to the point that officials warned that it may default on its bonds as early as 2020. In December, Jurich threatened that UofL would leave the arena should they be forced to restructure their deal.
“I’m tired of it. We’re tired of all the rhetoric. If they don’t want us, just tell us. We’ll leave. I’d love to build one on the silo site.”
By taking Jurich out of the equation, it looks like the arena — and the city of Louisville — may have finally found a solution.