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Amateur Sports Developer Still Trying To Secure Funding

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JAMES WILLAMOR/FILE
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Nearly a year after negotiations began with the city of Charlotte, the company aiming to redevelop Bojangles Arena into an amateur sports complex is still trying to secure financing, according to a staff update to the city council’s economic development committee Friday.

The city has been in discussions with the developer, GoodSports, since last December. Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes says the city is just performing due diligence.

“We’re trying to make the thing right,” Barnes said. “What we’ve been trying to avoid is getting into something and having to back it up because it wasn’t right, and for getting criticized for getting into something that was a bad deal.”

GoodSports has had funding fall through at other amateur sports projects it has in the works in Indiana and Ohio. Barnes says the developer is experiencing no such problems in Charlotte.

Meanwhile, the city has continued to move ahead with its portion of the project, including demolishment of an Econo Lodge for $4 million, and approving $12 million in renovations to Bojangles Arena.  

The city plans to put in about half of the $77 million the project is expected to cost. Goodsports would put in the rest, and mostly earn revenue from running a hotel on the site.

The council will get its next project update in December.