Arena supporters in Fort Worth raise $1.46 million for funding election campaign

By Scott Nishimura snishimura@bizpress.net Proponents of Fort Worth’s proposed Will Rogers arena have raised $1.46 million so far to promote the Nov. 4 funding election, backed heavily by gifts from the Bass family. The Forward Fort Worth Partnership political action committee, formed by supporters of the arena, also reported $1.3 million in expenses, according to campaign reports filed with the city for contributions and expenses made through Oct. 25. Contributions included $900,000 fron the Bass-led Fine Line L.P. and Through Line L.P. partnerships, $65,000 from the Bass family’s Good Government Fund political action committee, and $390,000 from the chief arena backer, Ed Bass. Event Facilities Fort Worth, the nonprofit chaired by Bass that has raised money for improvments at the city’s Will Rogers Memorial Center for years, contributed $100,000. The Eppstein Group, the Fort Worth consulting firm that was instrumental in getting the recent city and school bond elections passed, has been paid $1.2 million so far in consulting fees for running the arena campaign, according to the campaign reports. Fort Worth voters will decide Nov. 4 on three taxes – parking, livestock pen, and admission – connected to events at Will Rogers. Those taxes comprise 15 percent of the estimated $450 million cost of the arena. Event Facilities has committed to raise at least half the arena cost and cap the city’s expense at $225 million.