Wanna Trade?

Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., is once again looking into buying the Family Arena from the county. The liberal arts institution is considering paying for the venue by trading in school-owned property.

Lindenwood President Jim Evans met with the university’s board executive committee in late January to go over the possibility of taking over the arena, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A number of scenarios are being considered from the university buying or leasing the venue to Lindenwood running the arena for the county. Evans said trading in property would make the most sense for Lindenwood because the university has so many projects planned.

The paper noted that in 2008 operating losses for the Family Arena were pegged at around $200,000.

County executive Steve Ehlmann said the figures for 2009, which haven’t been completed, are likely even worse. The venue’s operating profit has only been in the black twice – 2002 and 2005. The county must also make annual payments totaling about $2.5 million a year on the bonds sold to build the facility.

The Family Arena is located on the southern edge of St. Charles, about four miles from Lindenwood’s main campus.

The venue has about 11,000 seats, three times the capacity of the campus’ Hyland Arena, which could come in handy helping upgrade the school’s athletic programs.
Evans said his predecessor, the late Dennis Spellman, also held talks with county officials regarding taking over Family Arena but an agreement was never reached.

“There was never an agreeable price that was in a reasonable distance of each side’s expectations,” Evans said.