The Link Entertainment Center and theater upgrade heads to Kenne - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Link Entertainment Center and theater upgrade heads to Kennewick voters

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KENNEWICK, WA. -- Check your mailbox, most likely there's a ballot inside. In Kennewick, voters have the power to approve or deny a new bond to create "The Link", attaching the Toyota Center with the Three Rivers Convention Center.

Kennewick voters' decision on this, will affect the rest of the Tri-Cities.

"The Link" is a $35-40 million project to build a brand new, 110,000 square foot complex connecting the Three Rivers Convention Center with the Toyota Center.

The video shows what the new structure would look like. Now The Link project isn't just a new building. The funding would also update the Toyota Center, putting in brand new seats and video boards. It would also add a new lobby area before entering the arena as well as other upgrades.

But possibly the most talked about part of the expansion would be a 2,300 seat Broadway style theater to attract high end shows to the region. The Three Rivers Campus staff hopes the voters approve the bond measure on the ballot to raise the sales tax 0.02%. 

The Three Rivers Campus Executive Director Corey Pearson says The Link center would create $60 million in return sales tax per year.

"Well even if you decide to not use the convention center, if you don't go to the Toyota Center, Toyota Arena events, we'll still be bringing in a lot of people in from outside the community that will," Pearson said. "And they're going to pay sales tax which will fund our police department, it will fund our the fire department, the parks, our streets, all of that will help us pay. So everybody in Kennewick really benefits from this project."

Visit Tri-Cities released a statement Thursday in favor of the bond to pay for The Link Entertainment Center. That bond, if approved, does have a sunset clause, meaning it would end and be removed after 20 years. 

We'll find out August 2nd whether The Link center get 50% plus one of the votes and is approved. Pearson says construction would begin immediately if it is and would take about 2 years to complete.