Metro Council spent 60K on secret NBA campaign

The movement to lure an NBA franchise to Louisville has gone beyond optimistic fans starting a Facebook page and has made its way to City Hall.

From The Courier-Journal:

Louisville Metro Council members have been funding a behind-the-scenes push to lure a National Basketball Association team to the city, spending $60,000 to contract with attorney J. Bruce Miller to approach teams and potential investors.

Council members are considering spending an additional $22,000 toward the effort, taking the money from their own discretionary to funds to pay for it.

The original $60,000 — a last-minute addition by council member Dan Johnson to the current Metro Government budget — was labeled as a “national sports marketing” plan for Freedom Hall, with the money going to the Kentucky State Fair Board.

For years, Councilman Johnson, D-21, has been a vocal supporter for bringing an NBA team to the city, but the C-J points out that his less than transparent funding has given the public zero explanation about how the grant will go about attracting a franchise.

Other than paying Miller to talking briefly with NBA commissioner David Stern, think about the prospect and Google team information, there’s not much to show for the expenditure and Johnson refuses to discuss the grant.

One Comment

  1. Curtis Morrison
    Posted December 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to defend the Council’s decision based on two pieces of information:
    1) If anyone is capable of bring an N.B.A. franchise to Louisville, it is Mr. J. Bruce Miller. Besides having spent a good deal of his life in this very pursuit, he’s even written a book about it.
    2) This is how things are done. Teams have to be lured to our city by what’s wonderful here, and as much as I love you guys, I don’t think sending them a copy of the LEO Weekly is going to cut it. Someone has to do the romancing. And Miller is perfect for that.