Group Backs Off Arena Promise

Hindsight is 20/20 for Lincoln, Neb.’s Vision 2015.

After raising about $6.5 million toward construction costs for the new  in Lincoln, Neb., the civic group said other local projects are more in need of financial support.

Consultant Jennifer Brinkman said Vision 2015 had difficulty raising money because it was clear the project was in good financial shape, with tax receipts bringing in more than anticipated and low interest rates on construction bonds.

Vision 2015, which includes business, community and university leaders, helped brainstorm 10 important local projects, and Pinnacle Bank Arena was among them.

The group pledged in 2010 to raise $20 million – the projected shortfall – in private donations toward Pinnacle Bank Arena’s construction costs.

That gap no longer exists.

“Obviously, I was disappointed with the decision,” Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler told the Lincoln Journal-Star. “But I remain hopeful that they will re-engage and help out taxpayers in a meaningful way on other community projects. And I believe they will do that.”

The arena opened in August.