Ed Glasscock is one busy guy, the attorney for the Arena Authority AND a member of U of L’s athletic association.

(Editor’s note: The New York Times and other publications are reporting Stockton, Calif. officials announced the city will seek bankruptcy protection, in part because of an expensive hockey arena.)

Today we look at the players on the Louisville Arena Authority board and their connections in the community and/or with the University of Louisville.

This is of particular concern because the Louisville Arena Authority is the “owner” of the KFC Yum! Center and has an agreement with the University of Louisville Athletic Association that establishes the athletic association as the primary tenant.

Critics of the agreement say U of L is given too much power in scheduling events, thereby blocking events that could actually generate badly needed revenue.

We would assume to have a reasonable expectation the entity – the Arena Authority – that negotiates with the primary tenant – U of L’s athletic association – would have the taxpayers’ best interests at heart.

We would also assume all the board members of all the entities involved would at least try to avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest.

But you know what they say about “assuming.”

As of today, the Kentucky State Fair Board manages the arena via a contract with the arena authority. That contract will soon be broken, as private company AEG Worldwide has been selected to replace the Fair Board as manager of the KFC Yum! Center.

This remains a work in progress and is incomplete. Mostly because it is such a knot of good-buddyism and insider relationships.

Here is the list of people on the Arena Authority board (or who work for the board) who are also on U of L’s Board of Overseers:

  • Larry Hayes
  • Ed Glasscock (Arena Authority attorney)
  • Jim King
  • Daniel Ulmer  Jr.

Here are the people who are on the Arena Authority board (or work for the board) who are also on U of L’s Athletic Association board:

  • Ed Glasscock (Arena Authority attorney)
  • Junior Bridgeman

Ron Carmicle is on the Arena Authority board as ex-officio AND is chairman of the state fair board.

Carmicle has a close relationship with U of L men’s basketball Coach Rick Pitino.

Ron Carmicle’s daughter Meghan married former U of L basketball star David Padgett in 2010.

Wade Houston is on the athletic association board while HIS WIFE, Alice Houston, serves on the arena authority board.

Dr. Mark Lynn is on the Arena Authority board and also serves as assistant director of Bands/assistant director of The Cardinal Marching Band for the University of Louisville. Lynn also is on the U of L Research Foundation board.

William Summers V, Arena Authority board member, serves on the Louisville Sports Commission board.

Fair Board CEO Harold Workman is on the executive committee of the Louisville Sports Commission.

Lindy Street, Arena Authority board member and wife of retired Brown-Forman President Bill Street, is on the U of L medical center board.

Elaine  “Cissy” Musselman, Arena Authority board member, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Louisville School of Arts and Sciences in1996. Interesting fact: Musselman was ranked No. 34 on Louisville Magazine’s top 50 most influential people in 2011. That’s ahead of GE’s Jim Campbell (No. 38), Harold Workman (No. 45) and Bill Samuels (No. 48).

Allow these facts to soak in for a while, and keep in mind that the relationships between these people are the thing that makes it impossible for the “owners” of the arena to get a more equitable deal with the primary tenant.

The deal – as it stands now – only insures the arena will fail to make enough to cover its bond obligation and will hang taxpayers on the hook for about half a billion dollars.

There is another round coming up soon.

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Brian Tucker is a lifelong Louisvillian. He is the founder of The Valley Report, and has been writing on Southwest Louisville's political environment for several years.

8 thoughts on “Ties that bind: Deal between Louisville Arena Authority and U of L is sweet for a reason

  1. For the record, Mark Sommer was the attorney for the Arena Authority when the Agreement between U of L and the Arena Authority was negotiated.  Mr. Glasscock did not represent the Arena Authority at that time.

  2. For the record, Mark Sommer was the attorney for the Arena Authority when the Agreement between U of L and the Arena Authority was negotiated.  Mr. Glasscock did not represent the Arena Authority at that time.

  3.  Yes. Thank you. But Mr. Glasscock is currently representing the Arena Authority and is on the board of the Athletic Association. That is a conflict of interest in any definition of the term.

  4.  Yes. Thank you. But Mr. Glasscock is currently representing the Arena Authority and is on the board of the Athletic Association. That is a conflict of interest in any definition of the term.

  5. Brian, I don’t think the Arena Authority or the ULAA are in competition. The friction is between the NBA advocates and UofL. Let’s not make more of it than it is.

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