Wachovia Not For Sale

Just a few days after announcing that the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., had been approached for purchase and would consider proposals, the county group that oversees the facility’s operation has announced that the venue is not for sale.

“We want everyone to know the arena is not for sale,” Luzerne County Convention Center Authority chairman Kevin Blaum said after a closed-door meeting December 12th, the Times Leader of Pennsylvania reported.

The authority was approached by Big Win Ventures, which owns a minor league arena football team. Previously, authority member Bill Jones said it was open to discussing any offers.

Blaum said it wasn’t really an offer and that there was no motion made to explore the option of selling the arena, the Leader reported.

When initially asked about the Big Win proposal, Blaum said he hadn’t heard of it, and that the venue “should never be in private hands because we operate it in the best interest of the people of Northeastern PA.”

“Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Then it can be resold or dismantled for scrap,” Blaum said.

The arena, which is managed by SMG, collects 80 percent of the revenue received from a county hotel tax, which has led to $10.5 million since May 1996, according to the paper.

Blaum said the hotel tax revenue stream must stay intact because it is earmarked to pay off the arena construction bond. But if the venue was privately owned, the hotel tax money could go elsewhere.

The venue has recently held concerts by Tool, “American Idols Live,” and The Cheetah Girls.