The Haymarket Convention Center Bites the Dust

By: Mr. Wilson on August 18, 2008
Did you notice that the proposed Haymarket convention center is gone from the most recent Haymarket redevelopment plans? Its absence isn't the only notable thing; the lack of fanfare surrounding the disappearance is also noteworthy. Only a few months ago officials trumpeted a 60,000 square foot convention center. Now they say existing conference space -- plus planned space currently in the pipeline -- is sufficient. In contrast to the convention center's disappearing act, the overall project seems to have gotten larger, with more mixed-use space, more parking garages, and a more prominent Breslow Ice Center. In addition, despite UNL's assurances that it is not yet on board with any plan, two pieces of evidence suggest otherwise. First, the phrase "practice facility" is now prominent on project sketches. Who besides the Huskers would be practicing in the new arena? Second, UNL is hosting an open house at Memorial Stadium at which the public will be able to see how the various proposals will look. Why would UNL host an open house if it doesn't plan to play an important role in the project? If the Huskers are on board, I have to think this project is all but a slam dunk. The arena needs a consistent tenant, and the Huskers want a home they can be proud of. It's a win-win. And Lincoln and UNL have Haymarket Park to point to as an example of just how successful these partnerships can be. Are you sold yet?


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August 18, 2008 at 2:25PM

I think it’s silly to not have the conference center space. What’s already in the pipeline? I already know of one Lincoln company that has an annual convention that cannot be contained within the Cornhusker or Embassy by itself. They now have to utlize a combo of the Embassy and Holiday Inn. If we’re no longer building this one, why did we sell the one the city has/had at the Cornhusker? Booooo!

Dave K
August 18, 2008 at 3:05PM

Are you sold yet?


August 18, 2008 at 8:16PM

Now now…..We ALL know that ANYTHING that the “powers that be” decide to do in Lincoln MUST pass the FULL vote and support of the UNL staff…et al.

Just like when the Devaney center was built.  It was SUPPOSED to be a place to have big name concerts and tons and tons of sporting events.  But we all know what has happened to that now.  It sits like a huge dinosaur and is rarely used.

Here’s a thought.  Why not build the convention center over by the Whittier Junior High building?  Lots of space over there that’s just ripe for the picking.  Most of that space is already owned by UNL anyway.  And the Whittier building would look GREAT as a refurbished hotel.  And surely it’s big enough to have some sort of convention center there too????

It would be a LOT cheaper than having to clean up over a hundred years of ground pollution where they want to build it now.  And that’s IF the BNSF is willing to relocate the tracks.  THAT would be a HUGE undertaking in itself.  And here’s a thought…...relocate them to WHERE????  Someplace where they will need a NEW overpass???  Isn’t that the reason for the rebuild on the Harris overpass now????

GEEZ…this town does NOT look too far ahead does it????

August 18, 2008 at 9:28PM

Yep, I think it’s time for this thing to get built. The convention center was not a great idea, those things are money sieves once they’re built.

August 18, 2008 at 9:39PM

Whittier is currently being remodeled and will house (at least initially) the Nebraska Transportation Center, Nebraska Center for Energy Science Research, Campus Daycare center and some educational research classrooms.

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