A venue planned as part of the Amarillo downtown development plan has been placed on hold, according to City staff.
City staff confirmed to the Amarillo Pioneer today that a planned "future arena" in downtown Amarillo has been place on hold, due to a lack of funding. In a statement to the Amarillo Pioneer, City spokesperson Jesse Patton said the plan is currently on hold.
"According to the Civic Center, the arena and expanded Civic Center (including additional meeting space) was identified as a need for future growth," Patton wrote in the statement. "Those needs were attempted to be addressed with the 2016 bond proposal, which the voters voted against using property taxes to support the expansion/arena. Additional funding or alternative revenue sources would need to be found before a plan could be put into place."
The arena, planned to be placed in the northern parking lot of the Amarillo Civic Center, has been called a piece of the downtown entertainment strategy and was identified as recently at November of 2016 as a key part of the arena development in downtown Amarillo.
In renderings, the arena is shown to be similar to the type of arena as the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock. Lubbock's arena hosts basketball games and graduation ceremonies for Texas Tech University, while also hosting concerts from artists such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, TobyMac, Lady Antebellum and others. The type of arena needed has not been totally identified, however.
According to the Civic Center Facility Needs Assessment Study Volume II, released in November of 2016, the new arena would be planned to have 5,500 to 7,500 fixed seats. The arena would also have a 25,000 square foot area for retractable floor seating and space for a regulation hockey rink.
The cost of the new arena was not included in the survey, as a secondary survey on the new arena is planned.
The lack of funding for the new arena will not affect the current baseball stadium project downtown, however. The baseball stadium was not included in the 2016 facility needs survey.
For more information about the downtown development projects, please visit amarillo.gov.