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August 5, 2014

Fort Worth voters will be asked to approve financing plan for $450 million arena

Event Facilities Fort Worth, a nonprofit group chaired by Ed Bass, has pledged to raise at least half the money and promised to cover all costs that exceed $450 million, capping the public commitment at $225 million.

The new 14,000-seat multipurpose arena and sports facility proposed for the Cultural District could exceed $450 million, but a nonprofit group in Fort Worth has pledged to raise at least half the money.

The City Council is also scheduled to vote next week on an ordinance calling for a Nov. 4 election for voters to approve user-financed taxes to fund the city’s portion of the project.

Event Facilities Fort Worth, chaired by Ed Bass, also promised to cover all costs that exceed $450 million, capping the public commitment at $225 million, according to a letter sent from Bass to Mayor Betsy Price and the council.

According to the latest filing on Guidestar, which gathers IRS information on nonprofits, Event Facilities Fort Worth listed its assets as of March 31, 2013, at a little over $75 million.

On July 15, the council approved moving forward with the plans to build the arena by sending the funding information to the Texas comptroller’s office for review. Calling the election is the next step in a plan that also includes tearing down the 44-year-old domed arena of the Fort Worth Convention Center downtown.

The new arena would be at the southeast corner of Harley Avenue and Gendy Street on the south side of the Will Rogers Memorial Center. The public portion of the funding would come from taxes on each ticket sold for events at the center, on parking, on each stall or pen used by livestock, and the state’s portion of the hotel tax within 3 miles of the location.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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