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Location and other details revealed for proposed expo center

LUBBOCK, Texas - Supporters of the Lubbock County Expo Center Steering Committee revealed details about the proposal during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.  

The chairman of the committee, Randy Jordan, said voters have many questions ahead of a November 6 election which includes a ballot initiative for a proposed Lubbock County Expo Center.  

Related Story: Some issues yet to be decided in proposed expo center 

Voters can choose yes or no on a Lubbock County hotel/motel tax to fund the project.  The hotel occupancy tax (HOT) would go from 13 percent to 15 percent in Lubbock. 

“The venue will not cost any property taxes to plan, build, or maintain,” supporters have said.  “And [it] will have NO governmental control.”

Supporters have put together a 501c3 nonprofit organization to oversee the operations of an expo center, if voters approve. 

“This project is by citizens, and for citizens,” Jordan said Wednesday in the news conference. 

The proposed location is North University Avenue north of the Loop 289 access road (near X-Fab).  For now, the cost of construction is estimated to be $50 million, but the committee hopes to bring down the cost to $40 million. 

If approved, the facility would replace the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum for dirt events such as the ABC Pro Rodeo.  City of Lubbock voters in early 2018 approved an initiative to abandon the coliseum.  It is now the property of Texas Tech and it will be demolished in 2019.

Jordan said if voters approve the new HOT on November 6, then Lubbock’s HOT would be in line with other cities in Texas including Corpus Christi, Austin, Midland, Odessa and Abilene. He said the Lubbock HOT would still be lower than many other cities in Texas. 

“By entrusting the management to a 501c3 board of directors,” Jordan said, “we guarantee no governmental control, and no increase … in property taxes.”

“To even further the guarantee, we are creating an endowment, a safety net if you will, in the amount of at least $10 million,” Jordan said.  The money comes from anonymous donors and would produce $300,000 per year if needed.

Among the events would be the ABC Pro Rodeo, motocross, monster trucks, wrestling, livestock shows, gymnastics and concerts.  It would look for mid-size events that do not fill the United Supermarkets Arena but are too big for the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, according to Jordan. 


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