Breakdown: Just the Ticket?
The 2012 Nationwide Arena bailout hasn’t worked out as planned. When the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority took ownership of the arena, city and county officials expected $10 million in casino revenue annually would subsidize the deal. Instead, the gambling payday has fallen far short, with the annual casino haul failing even to cross the $5 million threshold. To make up for that shortfall, the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Convention Facilities Authority are calling for Columbus City Council to establish a ticket tax on arts, sports and entertainment events. The players are still hashing out the details—and a powerful figure, Arnold Sports Festival organizer Jim Lorimer, is fighting the proposal—but supporters say the tax could fill the funding gap for Nationwide Arena, as well as provide a new source of revenue for Columbus arts organizations.