Since long before it opened, there's been controversy over whether the KFC YUM! Center was a wise investment for our city or a waste of money. I've always strongly supported the arena, and now might be a good time to look back and see if that support has been justified.
First, let's consider the entertainment it's brought to our region. Since opening to a sold-out crowd for Eagles in 2010, the YUM! Center has played host to Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Pink, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and numerous other acts that, quite simply, would have bypassed Louisville before its existence. That's one big positive right there.
But let's also look at the many businesses that have sprung up in its wake.
If there were no YUM! Center, you can bet the explosion of restaurants and bars in and around Whiskey Row would never have happened. But the food and drink industry isn't the only one that's benefited.
The Ice House Redevelopment. The City Lofts project on East Market. The Evan Williams Distillery. The Whiskey Row Lofts. These and many more significant economic developments can also be traced directly to the existence of the arena.
I'm not blind to the large debt we still owe on the YUM! Center. But I still believe its benefits far outweigh its cost, and I'm confident those benefits will continue to multiply in the coming years.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.