Archive for Friday, May 23, 2008

Chamber won’t pay KU’s $6,400 hotel bill

May 23, 2008


The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce hasn't acceded to Kansas Athletics Inc.'s request for as much as $6,400 to cover the department's costs associated with canceling a postseason basketball banquet at the Lawrence Holidome.

And chamber leaders don't intend to, either.

Chuck Warner, the chamber's interim president and chief executive officer, confirmed Friday that the chamber wouldn't be contributing money to help defray the department's costs.

"I just think we need to move on," said Warner, a retired bank president who received the department's $6,400 request via e-mail soon after starting work at the chamber. "I imagine the athletic department would like to move on."

Chamber leaders never formally entertained the possibility of paying the department's bill for canceling the Holidome banquet, Warner said, because the chamber never received a complete, formal request.

Jim Marchiony, an associate athletics director, had sent an e-mail wondering if "the chamber and Downtown Lawrence (Inc.) would team up to pay this invoice."

Warner said he called Marchiony to discuss the issue, and to get more information, but - after leaving a message on his voicemail - Warner never heard back.

"It's kind of like a nonrequest," Warner said. "I'm not going to spend a lot of time thinking about a nonrequest."

Kansas Athletics originally had intended to conduct its postseason basketball banquet - for players, coaches, their families and donors who purchased tickets - at the Holidome, just as it had last season. But the decision was reached well before the Jayhawks went on to win six straight games in the NCAA Tournament, winning the school's first national basketball championship in 20 years.

Soon, chamber and Downtown Lawrence Inc. leaders were among people hoping for a traditional victory parade down Massachusetts Street. Athletics officials soon agreed, and opted to have it April 13 - the same day as the banquet, which was shifted from a paid event at the Holidome to a free and open-to-the-public celebration at Allen Fieldhouse.

The chamber continues to have a "great relationship" with Kansas Athletics, Warner said. And the chamber often works with the Holidome on big events.

Among them: On Thursday, chamber members will pay $20 per person to attend a luncheon with KU football Coach Mark Mangino. The noon event is billed as a chance to celebrate the Jayhawks' season that ended with a victory in the Orange Bowl, and to look forward to the coming season.

The luncheon will be at the Holidome, 200 McDonald Drive.


Jaylee 9 years, 10 months ago

a KU party not downtown doesnt appear to have much to do with Downtown Lawrence at all. it sounds like this AD didnt really prioritize talking to the city much anyway. in my opinion, COC was totally in the right

Keith 9 years, 10 months ago

In the spirit of intramural cooperation, Mangino announced he would eat the bill.

kwjayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

A good move for the city. Why would a tier 1 university ask for a banquet meal via e-mail? What's next a txt from Lou one day in the future "UoweMe 6K- Mob Boss Lou"a 7million dollar profit can pay that bill.

yankeelady 9 years, 10 months ago

The COC and merchants association should pay, when KU makes up the lost revenue and prestige from losing the MU game to Kansas City, where we were visitors at our home game. Real classy KU, way to endear yourselves to the town and alums. makes me almost glad my kid decided to go to K State.

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