The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority announced that it has refinanced and restructured most of the agency’s bonds. Financial experts estimate the present value savings of such refinancing at $100 million.
Mayor Annise Parker praised the Sports Authority saying, “I am so proud of the work that Janis Burke and her staff and J. Kent Friedman and the Board have done leading the Sports Authority through this. Due to their diligence, the financial houses of our stadiums are in order and will stay that way.”
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett echoed the sentiment adding, “The staff and volunteer board of the Sports Authority have done a tremendous job in boosting the financial strength and position of the organization. Our whole community has benefitted from their hard work and foresight.”
The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority was created to build, finance, and oversee the area’s landmark sports venues: Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, and NRG Park. Construction of these stadiums was financed through bonds to be repaid with Hotel Occupancy and Car Rental taxes, along with rental income from the stadiums. The Sports Authority was also utilized to oversee the construction of BBVA Compass Stadium on behalf of the City of Houston and Harris County. With respect to all of the stadiums, the Sports Authority insures that no local tax dollars can be utilized to pay for any financial liabilities incurred on behalf of the stadiums.
“This refinancing and its present value savings are extremely important to the Sports Authority, our partners, and the community. In addition, this reduces and levels our annual payments, insuring that we can meet all bond obligations for as far into the future as we can reasonably see,” said J. Kent Friedman, Chairman of the Sports Authority.
The Sports Authority works to promote the region for athletic competitions ranging from professional matches to collegiate and high school sports as well as numerous other events including Olympic Trials and international competitions. The Sports Authority also provides support to other local entities in recruiting and implementing major sporting events such as the NBA All Star Games, NCAA Final Four, and the Super Bowls.