New Orleans — New Orleans’ mayor said Thursday that she has secured a financing commitment from a New Orleans developer that will enable her to purchase the city’s new $4.8 billion, $5 billion arena.
The city will receive an additional $1.4 billion in tax revenue from the deal, which also will provide $250 million in local debt financing.
New Orleans City Councilman Michael Hines told the Associated Press that the financing will be the first of its kind in the city.
“We are thrilled that Joe Lacopo has decided to put our city and our taxpayers first, and he has committed to help us finance this important new project,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement.
“It is also very gratifying to see the City of New Orleans, the city of Baton Rouge, and the City Council commit to this important project as part of a larger vision for our city.”
Lacopos ownership has a history of backing large-scale sports stadiums and stadiums in other cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego.
In January, he was among the owners who donated $1 million to the effort to purchase a new stadium in Atlanta.
The $1 billion project, dubbed the City Square Stadium Project, would create a privately financed arena for the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, with an estimated $1-billion price tag.
Lacopios bid, however, was initially rejected by the Atlanta Braves, who wanted a smaller project with less luxury.
The arena was originally expected to be complete by 2020.