NEW YORK - Moody's Investors Service said it has downgraded to A2 from A1, the rating on Hamilton County, Ohio's outstanding stadium sales tax revenue bonds.

The A2 rating applies to the county's sales tax refunding and improvement bonds, Series 2000A (formerly subordinate), sales tax refunding bonds Series 2006A (formerly subordinate), and sales tax refunding bonds, Series 2011A. The county has approximately $558.5 million of parity sales tax revenue debt outstanding.

The bonds are secured by a gross revenue pledge of a ½% county-wide sales tax approved by voters in 1996. Original bond proceeds were used to finance construction and improvements of the county-owned baseball and football stadiums.

The formerly senior lien 1998A bonds were fully refunded with the Series 2011A refunding bonds, retiring the closed senior lien. All outstanding bonds are of parity lien.

The A2 rating reflects healthy current and satisfactory, though narrower, maximum annual debt service coverage, strong legal structures within the indenture offset by weak coverage tests, and a stagnant pledged revenue stream matched with an ascending debt service schedule.

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