Louisville's arena project has what many other national projects do not -- money to proceed.

It has not been easy. but after months of work the Arena Authority has finally raised funds to begin construction this fall.  Chairman Jim Host worked for months with Goldman Sachs, the Arena Authority's financial advisors.

After many stops and starts and disappointments, a successful bond sale has been completed, putting construction funds in the bank.  State money has paid to remove buildings and clear the way for construction.

But with demolition nearing an end, a successful bond sale was desperately needed to raise funds to begin construction in the next few weeks.

Chairman Jim Host called a special Arena Authority meeting to announce the latest financing package did not fall apart.  It has raised $344 million to cover construction costs.

The governor and mayor praised the Arena Authority for refusing to take "no" for an answer.  By not giving up, it finally has construction funds in the bank at a time many other local and national projects remain on hold awaiting a better economic climate.

The arena will be built for a guaranteed maximum price of $227 million, about $25 million less than expected.

That is because contractors slashed prices as they submitted bids in hopes of winning work during these poor economic times.