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Cincinnati Is Broke Thanks To Sports Stadiums


Jetdawgg
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http://www.vocativ.com/429457/cincinnati-broke-sports-stadiums/

 

Cincinnati Is Broke Thanks To Sports Stadiums

Stadium Finance

The Duke Energy Convention Center, whose naming rights are owned by the fine folks who spilled millions of gallons of toxic coal ash containing carcinogensinto the Dan River in North Carolina and only paid a $100,000 fine, is in need of major renovations. According to the Mike Laatsch, the CEO of the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, business is plummeting, and without these upgrades, they’ll lose out on 100,000 room nights by 2022.

Naturally, he would like to see taxpayers pay for this. Somehow. Laatsch hasn’t said how much should be paid or exactly what part of the public sector should be ripped off, but what he fails to mention is that the Duke Energy Convention Center was upgraded as recently as 2006 at a total cost of $135 million, with some nice hotel tax breaks thrown in, and netted $9 million for the aforementioned naming rights. But as Professor Heywood Saunders, the author of “Convention Center Follies,” notes, the renovations didn’t come close to achieving the desired result, not with nearby Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Columbus rolling out new venues of their own and/or paying for expansion projects to existing sites.

And while various Cincinnati hospitality and tourism experts – the industries that will benefit most from a still-undetermined handout of free taxpayer dollars – are saying this absolutely has to happen, while throwing around terms like “creative financing” to avoid any unpleasant questions about who will pay for this, there’s one major sticking point: Cincinnati and Hamilton County have been as yoked by stadium scams as any municipality in the country.

Forty-five percent of Cincinnati children live below the Federal poverty level and as of 2011, Hamilton County was devoting 16.4 percent of its total annual budget to debt service repayments, thanks to the $1 billion in bonds that were created at the beginning of the century to finance the construction of the new Paul Brown Stadium, home to the Cincinnati Bengals, and Great American Ballpark, which houses the Cincinnati Reds.

In order to keep up with the payments, social services were and are still being slashed, with one public official calling the deals struck by Hamilton County, “The monster that ate the public sector.” When the Bengals requested a new scoreboard in 2014, Hamilton County had no choice but to cough up an additional $7.5 million, thanks to a “state-of-the-art” clause in the lease agreement which requires that whenever any other NFL team blows a wad of dough on expensive bells and whistles (or invokes its own state-of-the-art clause), the Bengals have to keep up with the football Joneses and the county is on the hook. Forever.

Even if the Duke Convention Center could make the case that a financially-strapped county should devote a slice of its dwindling and meager public dollars to them, it’s not the only venue coming around hat in hand.

In April, the NCAA announced that U.S. Bank Arena had been selected to host the first two rounds of both the Men’s and Women’s National Basketball Championship games for the 2021-22 season, as long as Hamilton County agreed to spend up to $350 million to rebuild the arena, an undisclosed chunk of which would be paid in some form by taxpayers. Without that, the NCAA will pack up its toys and select some other nice city, one with a spiffier, newer arena.

But for two years now, the Nederlander Organization and AEG, which own and maintain operations of U.S. Bank Arena, have been begging for public cash as part of a $200 million renovation, and now they’ve seized upon the NCAA’s dangled carrot as an opportunity to put the squeeze on the local pols. For the moment, no one holding public office is falling for it. One GOP county commissioner said, “We already own two stadiums. We are full-up on stadiums,” and a Democrat commissioner told the Nederlanders and AEG, “Go do it. It’s your arena. We’ll be happy to help with permits and zoning, but don’t think that the county has a pot of money over here that we’re waiting to make available.”

That’s quite the understatement.

 

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One of the biggest disgraces in sports and local politics, this happens everywhere.  Municipal govenmentsin general are totally easy marks for this kind of thing. Dumb asses that are easily lead.

I was one of the public enemies on one of the Edmonton Oiler fan forums for lambasting the city/team arena deal here (everyone wants a new shiny arena).  Just a joke of deal imo and one the city never should have got sucked into.

 

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Convention Centers are a different story.  Convention Centers can be justified as a good government expense.   The government taxes hotel rooms very highly, and also earns the sales taxes of food, etc., and if they build a workable convention center, it can increase a City's employment and its tax revenue.  You obviously can't spend too much, etc.  

Stadiums are another story.  The benefits to a City are much more intangible (civic spirit, identity, etc) than financial.  My understanding is that most sports stadium are not profitable to the local governments.  

Sports stadiums and teams are a good things for cities to have.  Cities can provide the land or make other accommodations.  The Jets and Giants built their stadium, but obviously had government help.  New Jersey gets the sales tax revenue and income taxes from the players and staff, property taxes on training facilities, and a better image hosting the "New York" teams.

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56 minutes ago, RoadFan said:

Perhaps the MidWest, aka the rust belt, should start to adopt the other kind of football?

Most of the MLS stadiums were built with under $200 million.  And many of them are full regularly on Saturdays. 

 

which ones? the ones around here aren't and while soccer is becoming more popular it is contributing to the downfall of American life as we have begun to emulate European sports fans and culture.

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I was in Cinci once for a corporate event, and a lot of the better hotels were across the river in Lexington KY. I wonder if that hurts them. It was literally a 5 minute walk across a pedestrian bridge, closer than staying in Union Square and attending an event at the Garden.

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3 hours ago, RoadFan said:

Perhaps the MidWest, aka the rust belt, should start to adopt the other kind of football?

Most of the MLS stadiums were built with under $200 million.  And many of them are full regularly on Saturdays. 

 

Most of the midwest is heavily into NCAA Football 

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11 minutes ago, isired said:

I was in Cinci once for a corporate event, and a lot of the better hotels were across the river in Lexington KY. I wonder if that hurts them. It was literally a 5 minute walk across a pedestrian bridge, closer than staying in Union Square and attending an event at the Garden.

Even the airport is in Ky

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5 hours ago, RoadFan said:

Perhaps the MidWest, aka the rust belt, should start to adopt the other kind of football?

Most of the MLS stadiums were built with under $200 million.  And many of them are full regularly on Saturdays. 

 

Well friend you have to have money to go to a sporting event. Since most of the infrastructure is falling apart and the jobs bugged out long ago that could be a problem. Typical.

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19 hours ago, joewilly12 said:

N.J pays the highest property taxes and car insurance in the nation, try again. 

 

They'd be even higher if not for the generous financial investment in MetLife Stadium made by PSL holders.

SAR I

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On 5/15/2017 at 9:57 AM, Jetdawgg said:

http://www.vocativ.com/429457/cincinnati-broke-sports-stadiums/

 

Cincinnati Is Broke Thanks To Sports Stadiums

Stadium Finance

The Duke Energy Convention Center, whose naming rights are owned by the fine folks who spilled millions of gallons of toxic coal ash containing carcinogensinto the Dan River in North Carolina and only paid a $100,000 fine, is in need of major renovations. According to the Mike Laatsch, the CEO of the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, business is plummeting, and without these upgrades, they’ll lose out on 100,000 room nights by 2022.

Naturally, he would like to see taxpayers pay for this. Somehow. Laatsch hasn’t said how much should be paid or exactly what part of the public sector should be ripped off, but what he fails to mention is that the Duke Energy Convention Center was upgraded as recently as 2006 at a total cost of $135 million, with some nice hotel tax breaks thrown in, and netted $9 million for the aforementioned naming rights. But as Professor Heywood Saunders, the author of “Convention Center Follies,” notes, the renovations didn’t come close to achieving the desired result, not with nearby Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Columbus rolling out new venues of their own and/or paying for expansion projects to existing sites.

And while various Cincinnati hospitality and tourism experts – the industries that will benefit most from a still-undetermined handout of free taxpayer dollars – are saying this absolutely has to happen, while throwing around terms like “creative financing” to avoid any unpleasant questions about who will pay for this, there’s one major sticking point: Cincinnati and Hamilton County have been as yoked by stadium scams as any municipality in the country.

Forty-five percent of Cincinnati children live below the Federal poverty level and as of 2011, Hamilton County was devoting 16.4 percent of its total annual budget to debt service repayments, thanks to the $1 billion in bonds that were created at the beginning of the century to finance the construction of the new Paul Brown Stadium, home to the Cincinnati Bengals, and Great American Ballpark, which houses the Cincinnati Reds.

In order to keep up with the payments, social services were and are still being slashed, with one public official calling the deals struck by Hamilton County, “The monster that ate the public sector.” When the Bengals requested a new scoreboard in 2014, Hamilton County had no choice but to cough up an additional $7.5 million, thanks to a “state-of-the-art” clause in the lease agreement which requires that whenever any other NFL team blows a wad of dough on expensive bells and whistles (or invokes its own state-of-the-art clause), the Bengals have to keep up with the football Joneses and the county is on the hook. Forever.

Even if the Duke Convention Center could make the case that a financially-strapped county should devote a slice of its dwindling and meager public dollars to them, it’s not the only venue coming around hat in hand.

In April, the NCAA announced that U.S. Bank Arena had been selected to host the first two rounds of both the Men’s and Women’s National Basketball Championship games for the 2021-22 season, as long as Hamilton County agreed to spend up to $350 million to rebuild the arena, an undisclosed chunk of which would be paid in some form by taxpayers. Without that, the NCAA will pack up its toys and select some other nice city, one with a spiffier, newer arena.

But for two years now, the Nederlander Organization and AEG, which own and maintain operations of U.S. Bank Arena, have been begging for public cash as part of a $200 million renovation, and now they’ve seized upon the NCAA’s dangled carrot as an opportunity to put the squeeze on the local pols. For the moment, no one holding public office is falling for it. One GOP county commissioner said, “We already own two stadiums. We are full-up on stadiums,” and a Democrat commissioner told the Nederlanders and AEG, “Go do it. It’s your arena. We’ll be happy to help with permits and zoning, but don’t think that the county has a pot of money over here that we’re waiting to make available.”

That’s quite the understatement.

 

i don't have much sympathy for governments who make bad decisions but it does seem that the nfl really needs to start dealing with this.  the owners can build their own stadiums and if they can't then they need to do something else with their spare change.

in ct hartford paid for the building of a baseball stadium to take the place of the new britain team. they made a big hoopla about they would rent out the stadium to the team and then be able to use it for other things in the off season.  well that turned out to be a crock.  anyone with half a brain knew the stadium rental wouldn't cover the notes.  so hartford has to float additional bonds to get the thing finished.  and this is the same town that was courting kraft when he threatened to move the patsies from foxboro.  and even stranger is people wonder why krafty stayed in foxboro.

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1 hour ago, rangerous said:

i don't have much sympathy for governments who make bad decisions but it does seem that the nfl really needs to start dealing with this.  the owners can build their own stadiums and if they can't then they need to do something else with their spare change.

in ct hartford paid for the building of a baseball stadium to take the place of the new britain team. they made a big hoopla about they would rent out the stadium to the team and then be able to use it for other things in the off season.  well that turned out to be a crock.  anyone with half a brain knew the stadium rental wouldn't cover the notes.  so hartford has to float additional bonds to get the thing finished.  and this is the same town that was courting kraft when he threatened to move the patsies from foxboro.  and even stranger is people wonder why krafty stayed in foxboro.

Goodell is a puppet of the owners and an inept idiot.  He will never ever do anything about Owners extorting city and state governments 

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2 hours ago, thadude said:

Maybe WV could build a stadium out of crystal meth and heroin

Probably. The white trash definitely have their problems, but up near Morgantown, the worst we have is just a bunch of punk college kids.

 

One of the best small cities in the country to live. And lots of great state parks, like Cooper's Rock and Audra.

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10 minutes ago, PCP63 said:

Probably. The white trash definitely have their problems, but up near Morgantown, the worst we have is just a bunch of punk college kids.

 

One of the best small cities in the country to live. And lots of great state parks, like Cooper's Rock and Audra.

Please.....   there are no jobs and you don't even have a nearby airport.  great college town if you can out up with couch burning and a team that like the JETS, usually disappoints.   BTW.... Morgantown is filthy and I'm a WVU fan. 

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3 hours ago, southparkcpa said:

Please.....   there are no jobs and you don't even have a nearby airport.  great college town if you can out up with couch burning and a team that like the JETS, usually disappoints.   BTW.... Morgantown is filthy and I'm a WVU fan. 

Don't talk about Geno Smith's alma matter like that

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4 hours ago, southparkcpa said:

Please.....   there are no jobs and you don't even have a nearby airport.  great college town if you can out up with couch burning and a team that like the JETS, usually disappoints.   BTW.... Morgantown is filthy and I'm a WVU fan. 

There's Mylan, Ruby, WVU. Plenty of jobs. Airport is only an hour and a half away. Not a big deal if you don't fly often.

And Morgantown isn't filthy. Maybe downtown. But places like Cheat Lake are nice. Westover isn't bad.

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