The entire Shreveport City Council voted no to a multi-million dollar project to build a sports complex and arena downtown. Councilman Oliver Jenkins says he voted against the Cross Bayou Project because there was not a lot of visible public support. He hopes they can go back to the drawing board because partnering with a Tom Benson company is a great opportunity.
“It’s a great project and it’s a great opportunity for our city but it’s difficult to force something on a city if there are not the supporters in the community that are willing to advocate for it.”
Jenkins says 30 million of the city’s dollars would be used along with 139 million in private finances. He says they would like to present this project to the public in a different light because many people didn’t know the project could bring in a major G-league basketball team.
“Bring in a team like the Pelicans to be the anchor tenants and that to me puts the focus on the economics, the revitalization piece for our downtown as a headline, rather than an afterthought.”
Jenkins says surprisingly, there was not much support from the business community. He credits the failing to pass this project to the public not having faith in government’s decisions.
“There’s a certain amount of distrust in government. We need to change that, move forward, move past that. Not everybody is out there to take away from people but we’re out there trying to improve the lives of most of our constituents.”