An Arena Across The Arkansas?

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Sedgwick County in Kansas has asked a team of arena experts to peruse a proposal made two weeks ago by former county commissioner Dave Bayouth to construct a new downtown Wichita arena on pillars directly over the Arkansas River.

Assistant County Manager Ron Holt, the arena project leader, told the Wichita Eagle that he asked for an opinion on the idea from the consortium of architects who were hired by the county to design the new arena.

After considering four sites in the downtown area, commissioners in November approved a location on the east side of the city.

“We’re moving forward on the plan that we have, but we didn’t want to just dismiss this out of hand,” Hold said of Bayouth’s proposal.

Speaking of the consortium, Hold told the paper, “We would just ask them to give us their professional opinion, without doing anything in a detailed study. That’s cost and delay.”

The arena has a $184.5 million budget that is being financed by a one-cent sales tax. It will be owned and operated by Sedgwick County.

Holt compared building the arena over the river to building an eight- to 10-lane bridge, and raised questions about added costs and structural support.

Bayouth had estimated an addition $18.4 million would needed for his plan, but has not shown any studies to support that figure. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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