Rethinking Louisville Bond Plan

Louisville Arena Authority officials in Kentucky are rethinking a plan to sell $360 million in construction bonds to finance a new downtown arena following the news that bond insurer Assured Guaranty’s rating could be downgraded.

Arena authority chairman Jim Host told Business First of Louisville that he and representatives of Goldman Sachs, the authority’s bond underwriter, have come up with five proposals for financing should the bond plan be dropped.

Of those proposals, one would include a construction loan and another involves letters of credit from various lenders.

A new financing plan was expected to be unveiled during a July 31 arena authority meeting, the paper said.

The finance review was prompted by a July 21 announcement from Moody’s Investors Service that Assured Guaranty had been put on negative watch, a possible sign its rating could be downgraded.

Host told the paper that choosing a new finance package wouldn’t take long and shouldn’t delay the arena’s 26-month construction time schedule.

The $249 million, 22,000-capacity arena, slated to open in November 2010, will be home to the University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as host concerts and other events.