Expo Center backers address concerns ahead of Lubbock County vote

Expo Center backers address concerns ahead of Lubbock County vote
Artist rendering of proposed Lubbock County Exposition Center

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Proponents of a possible Lubbock County Expo Center addressed questions about the planned venue ahead of next month’s Proposition A vote in a Wednesday news conference at Lubbock’s downtown Western Bank branch.

Randy Jordan, Chairman of the Lubbock County Expo Center Steering Committee, discussed questions raised by the public about the facility.

Randy Jordan addressing questions on Lubbock County Expo Center (Caleb Holder/KCBD)
Randy Jordan addressing questions on Lubbock County Expo Center (Caleb Holder/KCBD)

Jordan said the proposed location of the Expo Center will be on 100 acres along North Loop 289 near University Avenue. The location will be on the north frontage road of the Loop east of University. Jordan said the committee has that property under contract.

The Lubbock County Expo Center proposal is Proposition A at the bottom of the November 6 general election ballot for all Lubbock County voters.

The cost of the facility will be $50 million, according to Jordan. Capacity will be 6,000, with another 1,000 seats available along the floor for specific events like concerts.

The facility, which will be funded through a 2 percent county Hotel Occupancy Tax, will be governed by at 501(c)3 corporation without ongoing operational funding by the county. Lubbock County’s current HOT tax rate is 13 percent.

If Proposition A passes, the HOT will increase to 15 percent, a rate Jordan says is still lower than many cities, citing Amarillo’s HOT rate of 17 percent that will take effect in November. “By entrusting the management to a non-profit board of directors - or 501(c)3 - we guarantee no governmental control and no increase in property taxes. Period,” said Jordan.

To underwrite this, Jordan said backers have secured pledges of $10 million for an endowment to fund any operational losses. “These monies have been pledged to the Lubbock County Expo Center by a multitude of anonymous donors who believe in this project,” said Jordan.

Jordan emphasized the utility of the venue, saying, “This venue will be utilized year-round and our goal is not to compete with any other facility.”

Early voting for the November 6 general election begins October 22.

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