Arkansas Arena Plan

Rogers, Ark., city officials are preparing for the construction of a $55 million arena that was to be built in nearby Bentonville until infrastructure issues altered an investor group’s plan.

Project manager Chris Talley, a member of the investor group, told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that construction of the 9,000-seat Northwest Arkansas Sports and Entertainment Arena is scheduled to begin in December, with a goal of opening by September 2008.

“I’ve always had a vision to bring a world-class sports entertainment venue to Northwest Arkansas,” Talley said. “We think this [Rogers location] is highly visible and makes it more attainable for people to visit from the north, south, east and west.”

The Bentonville location was scrapped after developers learned that area road expansions wouldn’t be completed until at least 2012, the Gazette said.

The project will also include a small amphitheatre, 40 luxury suites, team training center and a lake south of the venue.

Negotiations to land a WNBA team and possibly a hockey team for the new venue are ongoing.