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VANCOUVER, WA-Jerry Jenkins, the city’s private development partner in a $63-million, 6,500-seat special events center, still hasn’t been able to hawk the project’s naming rights for the necessary $7.5 million. He told the Public Facilities District board last week that despite his best effort, nobody wants the deal.

Jenkins needs the money to fulfill his part of the deal with the city. The city has said it will not move forward without the money. If the rights are sold, the city would sell tax exempt bonds to Piper Jaffray to finance the project. Piper Jaffray would then resell the bonds.

The entire project, if built, would include the sports arena, a 28,000-sf convention center and a 174-room hotel. The buildings would fill four blocks south of Esther Short Park.

Site work was expected to begin this fall, but was delayed until next spring to allow time for the sale of the naming rights and other preparation. The goal of opening in October 2003, though still possible, no longer appears probable.

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