Nebraska will have its first entertainment district.
The Lincoln City Council has approved creation of the district near the new Pinnacle Bank Arena where the Cornhuskers will play basketball beginning next year.
Modeled after the Power and Light District in Kansas City, the entertainment district allows restaurant and bar patrons to take carry drinks in approved containers to an outdoor area within the district boundaries. For Lincoln, those boundaries will be between Q and R streets with Canopy Street in the middle.
Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN the district will bring a different feel to downtown Lincoln.
“It’s something that has been done quite successfully in some other places and it seemed like a good thing to try,” Beutler says. “And, I believe it is a good thing to try and I think it can be done within boundaries that will be acceptable to everybody and that will result in everybody having a good time in a new and different experience.”
The legislature authorized creation of entertainment districts during the 2012 legislative session. Lincoln is the first city to take advantage of the law.
Beutler says Lincoln is prepared to maintain order in the district.
“We approach that kind of question in a number of ways, by police presence for one, by physical structures for two and by education and letting people know that it’s not a permanent privilege of any sort, necessarily,” according to Beutler.
The Lincoln City Council voted unanimously to create the entertainment district.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this story.