Amid concerns from local residents that a sales tax-financedevents center might ultimately force taxpayers to pay for theproject, Christopher Comacho, president and CEO of the regionalEDC, says the center is necessary to build a revenue base. Thedevelopment is along Pacific Avenue and north of the one-million-sfYuma Palms Regional Shopping Center. Comacho says the center wouldbring more people into Yuma for entertainment.

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"Right now, we have a lot of sales tax leakage going to othercommunities," Comacho tells GlobeSt.com. "The only entertainmentvenue we have here are casinos. And beyond a farm-league baseballteam, we have no professional sports or a venue for concerts androdeos."

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Steven Bielewicz, president of Global Properties, thePhoenix-based company that will oversee the center's development,says Yuma's location is ideal for a multi-purpose facility. For onething, the town is along Interstate 8, halfway between Phoenix andSan Diego. In addition, Yuma is close to the Mexican border."Approximately one-third of all the tickets sold will come frompatrons south of the border," Bielewicz believes.

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[IMGCAP(2)]Assuming voters approve the facility, it will be usedas a typical events center for concerts, the circus and a minorleague professional hockey franchise that will play in thefacility. Bielewicz says he hopes to attract an arena football teamas well.

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Global Properties is develops mid-size entertainment venues insecondary markets. It has one center operating in Hidalgo, TX, alsonear the Mexican border, and one about to break ground in Allen, afar northern suburb of Dallas. Other centers have been in operationfor several years.

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Bielewicz says he's seen commercial development thrive in thegeneral area of events center developments. "We never know what thefuture will bring, of course," he adds. "But in looking back onprior experience that's the norm."

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