Lincoln Arena Plan Debate

A Lincoln, Neb., citizens’ group is campaigning against a proposed sports and entertainment venue, claiming city officials aren’t being upfront on all the details.

In a statement posted on its website, the No2Arena Group urges residents to oppose the Haymarket Arena project, scheduled for a May 11 bond issue vote, because Joint Antelope Valley Authority members allegedly exaggerated the benefits.

“… [The bond issue is] actually a vote for at least $344 million in debt (plus interest) backed by property tax, not $25 million, as the misleading ballot language suggest,” spokesman Brad Carper said in a statement. “City taxpayers will be taking all the financial risks and be responsible for all the debt, which is much larger than we are being led to believe.”

State Auditor Mike Foley reportedly uncovered about $10 million in accounting errors and some procedural problems in the project’s books, which appeared to back up No2Arena Group’s claims, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

However, Foley said the errors were not intentionally made, just flaws in the accounting process, and are being corrected, the paper said.