Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Getting STIF[ed]: Louisville’s Yum! Center, Sales-Tax Increment Financing, and Megaproject Underperformance

Sroka, Robert


Robert Sroka


This article evaluates the revenue performance failings of the Yum! Center, a sports arena in Louisville, with the primary objective of explaining how a flawed deal arose in the first place. While the literature addressing public subsidization of sports facilities primarily contemplates economic impact underperformance, Louisville provides an extreme instance of failed financial performance leading to a bailout. The revenue challenges, arising from sales-tax increment financing and the lease agreement, link the arena to a wider literature on megaproject underperformance, characterized by three primary threads: rent-seeking, governance structures, and project cultures. This article evaluates the Yum! Center through representative lenses from each of these threads before offering key lessons for future projects.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Mar 10, 2019
Publication Date 2020-09
Deposit Date Dec 7, 2022
Journal Urban Affairs Review
Print ISSN 1078-0874
Electronic ISSN 1552-8332
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Issue 5
Pages 1553-1580
Keywords tax increment financing, megaproject, Louisville, underperformance, local government
Public URL