LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- With a 7-to-2 vote, the University of Louisville Board of Trustees passed the amendment to the university's lease with the KFC Yum! Center, but the vote wasn't without some heated discussion leading up to it.
Under the new lease agreement, the University of Louisville will pay the Louisville Arena Authority an additional $2.42 million each year on top of the payments they are already making. The university will also give up its October dates to allow the Yum! Center to schedule more events, including concerts, but the Yum! Center will work with the university on scheduling scrimmages and exhibition matches. The women's volleyball team will also be moving out of the arena, per the agreement, which will give the university a credit of $80,000.
"We don't have to do this," Interim President Dr. Greg Postel said. "We are choosing to do this because we want to help the situation and make sure that building is maintained and is a beautiful facility for years to come just like it is today."
The new lease agreement could also mean higher ticket prices, with the university placing a $2-surcharge on all men's basketball game tickets, with the possibility of being raised up to $8. Several trustees and school officials were not pleased with the agreement, worrying about its effectiveness down the road in preventing a similar situation from happening.
"I think it's a very bad situation and I think there's no assurance this gets solved in the future," Trustee Nitin Sahney said. "Here we are counting pennies for the university and the staff and everyone else. It's not going to happen in a year. It's the term of the lease, and that accounts for a lot of money."
"I sure hope we're not, as an athletic department, stuck paying on loans," Athletic Director Tom Jurich said. "That isn't fair. I keep hearing from everybody, the university, we're one family. I hope that is true. I hope I can see that come to light because this is tough."
The Louisville Arena Authority unanimously approved the amendment to the lease Thursday afternoon. Metro Council still needs to approve the amendment.