Owners say arena should be rebuilt before hosting NCAA games

CINCINNATI (AP) — The owners of a Cincinnati arena say they want to completely rebuild it, with taxpayer help, after the NCAA announced its men’s basketball tournament would return to the city if the building is upgraded.

Officials with Nederlander Entertainment, which owns U.S. Bank Arena, said Wednesday that a total overhaul is the best way to meet requirements imposed by the NCAA when the arena was announced as a host of first- and second-round games in 2022.

The reconstruction costs are estimated at $250 million to $350 million. Nederlander CEO Ray Harris told WKRC-TV some of that would need to come from taxpayers, but didn’t specify how much.

Several local officials said they wouldn’t support using public dollars on the project, including Yvette Simpson, a Democratic councilwoman and candidate for mayor.