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Churches, Grant Coming To Arena Site

The Church of the Nazarene and the United Church Pentecostal International will hold their conventions in Louisville in the coming years.The conventions will be at the new downtown arena in 2011 and 2013, with a combined projected economic impact of 10 million dollars.Governor Steve Beshear says he doubts the conventions will lead to consecutive meetings, but the churches could still return to Louisville."These conventions tend to move around the country and rotate among several cities," he says. "What we're hopeful of is that once they have the experience in Louisville at the new arena downtown, they will like this so much that they will place Louisville in their rotation so that every 3, 4 or 5 years we'll get these conventions back."Beshear also announced a $2.4 million federal grant to renovate Louisville's 2nd Street between Main Street and River Road."This is going to help create significant pedestrian areas in the heart of the emerging center of this economic and tourist activity," says Beshear. "We're talking enhancements to intersections, sidewalks, lighting and utilities, and the creation of a public gathering place."The $2.4 million will be matched by 600 thousand dollars in city funds.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.