Getting STIF[ed]: Louisville’s Yum! Center, Sales-Tax Increment Financing, and Megaproject Underperformance

Robert Sroka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article evaluates the revenue performance failings of the Yum! Center, a sports arena in Louisville, with the primary objective of explaining how a flawed deal arose in the first place. While the literature addressing public subsidization of sports facilities primarily contemplates economic impact underperformance, Louisville provides an extreme instance of failed financial performance leading to a bailout. The revenue challenges, arising from sales-tax increment financing and the lease agreement, link the arena to a wider literature on megaproject underperformance, characterized by three primary threads: rent-seeking, governance structures, and project cultures. This article evaluates the Yum! Center through representative lenses from each of these threads before offering key lessons for future projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1553-1580
Number of pages28
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Volume56
Issue number5
Early online date10 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

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