University seeking MnSCU Board of Trustees approval on basic terms of lease agreement for proposed Bemidji Regional Events Center

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji State University Vice President for Finance and Administration Bill Maki today announced that the University has asked the Board of Trustees for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) to approve the basic terms of a lease agreement between the University and the City of Bemidji for the hockey arena at the city’s new events center, which is scheduled to open in Jan. 2011. The Board of Trustees will consider the motion during its Nov. 18-19 meetings in St. Paul, Minn.

The MnSCU Board of Trustees must approve all contracts, including real estate leases, with a value greater than $2 million. Bemidji State University’s 20-year lease with the City of Bemidji is expected to be valued at approximately $4.5 million over the term of the lease.

“Asking our board to approve the contract moves Bemidji State closer to finalizing its partnership with the city as the anchor tenant of the regional events center,” Maki said.

“Agreements like this are very complex but, after recent negotiations with the city, many of the major terms of the agreement seem to be in order,” Maki said. “The University is appreciative of the efforts of everyone who has been involved with moving the agreement forward to this point.”

The Office of the Chancellor at MnSCU also has been working with the University and city in developing the agreement.

“We are pleased to be a part of the team and look forward to presenting the agreement to our board next month,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities and Real Estate Allan Johnson said.

Bemidji State University and the City of Bemidji entered into a memorandum of understanding earlier this year that outlined the terms and conditions required before entering into a formal lease agreement. Under the agreement, the events center would provide the University with a 4,000-seat arena, which would include no less than 25 private luxury suites and 250 club-level seats.

Once finalized, terms of the lease are subject to approval by the Bemidji City Council and the MnSCU chancellor or his designee.