Cool under fire Jim Host, the man you want in your fox hole, the individual with the vision, the muscle, the finesse, the man responsible for making the new University of Louisville basketball arena possible. 

Jim Host
Jim Host

He says the arena will be the ultimate, the most comprehensive, the finest NCAA basketball facility in the nation, the state of the art, better than most NBA facilities.

The man acquired the financing on the eve of a national economic crisis, made light work of the political process (even getting the enthusiastic support of Kentucky Senate Chairman David Williams, the legislative behemoth who gained power opposing everything in sight), and continues to shepherd this incredible project through every imaginable hurdle.

In his own inimitable style, Host conveys the scope and splendor of the new facility, which will open in November 2010:

Courier-Journal Video

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Never one to shy away from elephants in the room, Jim Host told WHAS-11 that the University of Kentucky would be much better off playing its annual December games in Louisville at Freedom Hall.

Host said, “(University of Kentucky basketball) in my judgment would be far better off to play in Freedom Hall because there they won’t have any conflicts with UofL dates. The problem the University of Louisville and UofK have always had, is UofL doesn’t get their dates until the very end, having to do with the Big East Conference (scheduling).  University of Kentucky basketball is trying to schedule December dates for playing Indiana and other teams like that.  So I think what you’ll see and I don’t know this to be the case . . . I think you’ll see (Kentucky basketball) staying at Freedom Hall which would make sense to me.”

That, of course, raises the very real possibility of both programs playing other teams at different Louisville venues on the same day. That would be incredible “Game Day” programming for ESPN, broadcasting from the basketball capital of the world.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

3 thoughts on “Jim Host Shows Off Louisville Basketball Arena”
  1. As soon as we can raise $300 million with a recreation tax, we will build a better arena.

  2. The problem with the Lexington team playing its games in Freedom Hall is that they would attempt to remove all traces of the University of Louisville from the arena, as silly as that seems. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from them. What other university would refuse a nationally telecast football game against an opponent over which is was the clear favorite? The UK folks will choose the classless route every time when it comes to this rivalry. There should be some way we can leave a U of L mark on the structure because Louisville was the school that made Freedom Hall a recognized name around the world.

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