Monday, May 30, 2011

Goldman Sachs buys Google ads to promote its role in getting Louisville arena built; what about Brooklyn?

Attached to a 5/7/11 Boston Globe review of sportswriter Robert Lipsyte's new memoir was the advertisement at right, in which financial behemoth Goldman Sachs promotes its role in the new arena in Louisville, KY.

Presumably such Google ads are being bought wholesale, attached to other sports coverage.

"See how the construction of a new arena helps businesses downtown," states Goldman, pointing to a web page and film, with the summary:
Now, new businesses are opening, new jobs have been created and downtown Louisville is more vibrant than ever, with new restaurants and services available to local residents and visitors.
What about Brooklyn?

Will Goldman, which arranged the bond financing for the Atlantic Yards arena (aka Barclays Center), promote its role in the new facility? Likely.

But the promotion will have to be more subtle. New businesses? Sports bars, sure, but local residents surely have enough restaurants and services.

New jobs? Surely not nearly as many as promised during the heady days of "Jobs, Housing, and Hoops."

New housing? Not Goldman's problem.

Louisville overview

The web site for the Louisville project points further to this summary:
The University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball programs are among the most prominent in the nation, but to attract NCAA tournament games and other high-profile events, the university needed a new facility.

In 2006, the Kentucky Governor’s office established the Louisville Arena Authority (LAA) to study options for a new home for the men’s and women’s teams. The state, the city and the university ultimately sought a downtown venue, providing an opportunity for economic growth in the city through tourism, nightlife and shopping. Due to its significant expertise securing financing for major capital projects and sports facilities in particular — especially in cases where financing was complex — Goldman Sachs was selected to manage the financing for the facility.

The $349 million facility, with funding structured by Goldman Sachs and LAA, created thousands of construction jobs, as well as permanent employment and economic development in downtown Louisville.

Complexity of Funding
To service the bonds needed for construction, Goldman Sachs and LAA built a plan around three revenue sources. The Commonwealth of Kentucky committed incremental tax revenues; the City of Louisville committed to regular

payments; and additional funds were projected to come from ticket sales, concessions, advertising and other revenue streams generated by the arena.

Typically, financing a college sports facility of this size is fully supported by revenues from a university or municipality. In this case, the financing structure was dependent on several different revenue sources, each with its own characteristics regarding timing, amount and how the money could be spent. In addition to up-front public funds, the financing also relied on future funding provided by projected arena revenues and increased tax revenues resulting from the revitalization of the downtown area.

Goldman Sachs helped LAA develop this unique financing structure and helped ensure that LAA would be able to meet its obligations, even under extreme stress. Such efforts were critical to providing investors with comfort that the project would be completed on-time and on-budget and that the ongoing arena revenue would meet initial forecasts. Ultimately, Goldman Sachs’ work with LAA helped raise the money needed to begin construction in time to open the arena for the 2010-2011 basketball season.

Local Workers, Local Impact
An important aspect of the arena project was to ensure that minorities, women and local workers from Kentucky and southern Indiana were involved in its construction. The participation goals were reached or exceeded in all cases.

LAA engaged this diverse workforce by partnering with local stakeholders to establish the Construction Pipeline Project, a program designed to train local workers in construction and related trades, thus opening the door to new careers for local residents for this and future construction projects.

The 22,000-seat arena, known as the KFC Yum! Center, opened on October 10, 2010. It now hosts collegiate sporting events, concerts and family-friendly shows, creating a year-round rotation of downtown entertainment. By enhancing tourism, the arena has brought new hotel and restaurant business to an underutilized area of downtown.

Louisville’s Arena Created Jobs and Revitalized Downtown
  • Over 3,500 workers drawn largely from the Louisville metropolitan area helped build the arena.
  • The arena has created close to 1,000 new jobs in operations, security, venue services, food service and administration.
  • The local economy benefited from an estimated $100 million of subsequent investment associated with new development projects, such as sports bars, restaurants, modern loft-style apartments and other new businesses.
Goldman Sachs’ Commitment to Louisville
  • With the combined, diverse contributions of the university, city and state, financing for Louisville’s arena was particularly complex. Ultimately, this project represents one of the largest financings for a college sports facility to date.
  • The total bond offering was $349 million. In a challenging market environment, Goldman Sachs’ expertise was critical to achieving the 30-year financing terms.

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