LUBBOCK, Texas – Back in 2018, Lubbock voters passed a proposition to increase local hotel, motel and rental car taxes to help fund the Lubbock County Expo Center. Nearly five years later, developers have yet to break ground on the site at University Avenue and North Loop 289.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” said Randy Jordan, board chairman for the Lubbock County Expo Center. “We want to see something happen out there and move some dirt. We’re moving as fast as we know how.”
Jordan blamed COVID-19 for the delays. He said the pandemic plagued them with inflation, supply chain issues and high interest rates.
“It’s tough, and we’ve all been working to overcome that ever since,” Jordan said. “We have charged ahead with full optimism and faith that we’re gonna bring this baby home.”
Jordan said the largest hurdle right now is fundraising.
“We need everything from $100 to $1 million,” Jordan said. “Neither the county nor our board is going to break ground until we know that we’ve got the funding in place to be able to do that.”
Since Lubbock County began collecting those tourism taxes in July 2019, it’s raised $40 million toward the $87 million expo center. Jordan said the project is currently $17 million short of its goal.
“This thing is going to be self-sustaining and self-sufficient,” Jordan said. “We’re closer than we were a short time ago, especially under the challenges that we’ve gotten.”
Jordan explained a project of this magnitude takes time, but said it will be well worth it in the long haul.
“We believe it’s going to happen,” Jordan said. “It’s a challenge, not a roadblock.”
Jordan said it’s difficult to predict, but he hopes to begin construction on the multipurpose event center by the first quarter of 2024.
For more information, visit the Lubbock County Expo Center’s website.