Lubbock County Expo Center plans for first sponsorship signing, announcement in coming weeks
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock County Expo Center plans to announce the first naming rights sponsor for the venue in the next few weeks and hopes it will be the start of necessary momentum to raise more private funds to begin construction, according to an update from the developer.
“We did get two proposals in yesterday and today, and we’re ready to, I think, make a decision on one of our key sponsors in the [food and beverage] category, and get them signed up this week,” Greg Garfield of Garfield Public/Private LLC said. “Once we do that, we will want to make an announcement in the next couple of weeks.”
Garfield gave that update during the Mar. 8 meeting of the Local Government Corporation overseeing the project on behalf of Lubbock County. Specifics of the sponsorship were not discussed in an open setting.
He said conversations are still ongoing for other naming rights opportunities with other corporations in more industries, including for the title sponsorship.
Garfield has repeatedly focused on naming rights sponsorships as the key to securing enough private funds to begin construction on the center off North Loop 289 and University Avenue.
As for the public funding, according to Ronnie Keister, the Tax Assessor-Collector, there are nearly $7 million dollars in hotel occupancy tax and rental car tax collections waiting in an account.
The first phase of construction continues to be budgeted at nearly $90 million. As bid documents are finalized, the developer is working to find cost savings or “value engineering” opportunities amid rising construction costs.
The LGC was told the building permit with the City of Lubbock is set to expire on May 16. However, a plan is in place with Lee Lewis Construction to do some sort of “minimal work” on the site. That will allow for an inspection by the City of Lubbock and a six-month extension on the permit.
“As soon as we get this inspection, that six-month clock starts,” Matt Edwards, Project Executive, said. “We want to start as close as we can, with a reasonable measure, to the May 16 date. We’re definitely not going to let it expire. We’re going to look at something probably in late April or early May to perform some work.”
The Lubbock County Expo Center has announced its second ExpoNanza, a fundraising concert with Clay Walker headlining at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center on May 20. Public ticket information is expected to be announced this week. Click here to stay updated on the Expo Center Facebook page.
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