Bait and Switch (H/T – CR)

I know that I said I would not have sour grapes over the new Events Center, and I don’t, but I will continue to point out the inequities in what we were told and what will really happen.

If you watch today’s informational meeting, they are talking about the bond sale and repayment for the Events Center (FF: 19:00) Doug Hajek says this;

“There is a reference to the dollar amount, the final maturity date on these bonds would be potentially as late as 2037 . . .”

The Mayor and his team sold the public on a 22 year repayment period with an end date of 2033.  This is the information that they were ALL giving to the public BEFORE the vote. If you go to page 30 of this presentation you will see the 22 year repayment schedule. You will also see that they were promising under a 4% interest rate (Doug Hajek brought up in the presentation tonight it could cost as high as 4.75%)

There was also some interesting testimony during the public input of the City Council meeting (FF: 6:00) Ray Woody Woodsend spoke, I did not understand all that he was saying BUT HE IS OBJECTING TO THE WAY THAT THEY ARE STRUCTURING THE BOND SALE AND SAYS THAT IT WILL UTIMATELY END UP COSTING SF TAXPAYERS MORE THAN IT SHOULD AND WILL ALSO EXPOSE US TO MORE RISK THAN IS NECESSARY!

None of this surprises me from a mayor who was a former marketing manager of a subprime credit card company.

Bullocks! Bullocks! Carry on!


#1 l3wis on 11.14.11 at 10:04 pm

Notice in this interview that Turbak talks about the 4.75 interest rate, but look above;

#2 Poly43 on 11.14.11 at 11:14 pm

Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see lie number one of many to come unraveling before us.

My question is how many of the 23,283 citizens really understood the true capital and operating costs of this facility!!??

Answer. They really don’t care about things like interest rates and how many years it will take to pay off. All they know is Justin Bieber might play here.

#3 l3wis on 11.15.11 at 5:55 am

Poly – You are correct. And like I said, if a majority doesn’t have a problem with borrowing that money so be it. The problem I have is with the misinformation that was thrown out there before the vote. Here is just another example. Longer repayment schedule and higher interest rate.

#4 scott on 11.15.11 at 6:40 am

That’s just rumor and innuendo by annoymous bloggers!

#5 Angry Guy on 11.15.11 at 8:17 am

These grapes are sour… Where did you buy them?

#6 YDKM on 11.15.11 at 9:17 am

We will need those darn bloggers to be watchdogs as this EC financing and building progresses because it has been proven that the AL and 3 local TV stations don’t do any investigative reporting at all. It’s starting already and we don’t even have the soil samples yet. First the bond will cost more, then there will be issues with cost overruns with construction. I predict we haven’t seen anything yet. But hey, the majority who voted don’t really care about the financing, they just wanted to ‘build it now’. Huether and D Smith will be long gone when SF starts to suffer financially over this thing.

#7 Tom H. on 11.15.11 at 9:31 am

It would be nice to have another newspaper to give the argus a little competition. Their cheerleading, ‘everything is great here, trust the establishment’ attitude leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and it just seems lazy. I do like Jonathan Ellis though, he seems to come closest to providing actual journalism for the paper.

#8 Detroit Lewis on 11.15.11 at 12:15 pm

A little birdy told me that more cutbacks are occurring at the AL. Gannett is a sinking ship. I don’t give them 5 years before they start selling off assets.

#9 Detroit Lewis on 11.15.11 at 12:20 pm

Not sure if anyone has noticed, but the informational meeting link is not working. It also is not listed on the city’s website anymore. This is interesting considering it existed last night and worked just fine. Why would the meeting be taken down?

#10 Detroit Lewis on 11.15.11 at 12:25 pm

I just called the clerks office. I guess there was a ‘technical issue’ with the meeting that they are working on. Hmmmmmm.

#11 Detroit Lewis on 11.15.11 at 1:54 pm

it is working now.

#12 Analog Kid on 11.15.11 at 3:56 pm

It will eventually be foreclosed. I would hope a future city council would put in writing – No subsidy will be paid on the arena! It must come from profits outside of the little 2nd copper clad penny sales tax. Then in 3 or 4 years it will sit unused if it ever gets finished at all.
Good for the mayor he’s building that new mansion far out of town.

#13 l3wis on 11.15.11 at 6:58 pm

That place will be underused for years.

#14 Poly43 on 11.16.11 at 7:46 am

mr mayor.

How did you enjoy the Bucs/Texans football game? Food for thought mr mayor. That stadium cost local taxpayers 168 million to build in 1998. It holds 72,000 for football. Last year the Bucs were in the playoff run all season long, yet had a local blackout for television because they did not sell enough tickets for all of their eight home games. Same for the game you attended mr mayor. Only 56 K fans showed up, and by the fourth quarter 3 out of 4 of those were gone. So by the end of the game, 14K out of 72K seats were occupied. Paint that 4th quarter attendance picture in your mind mr mayor. 4 out of 5 seats….EMPTY. Just like your white elephant will be.

Did you even wonder WHY 16,000 seats were unoccupied at the start of that game mr mayor? For America’s game? Most NFL stadiums are seeing the same thing. Local blackouts. Do you suppose the economy has anything to do with it? Nah. Prolly never crossed your mind.

#15 Scott on 11.16.11 at 8:55 am

The other day a good friend of mine who should know better posted on Facebook a complaint that the new MacArena should be more than 12,000 seats. After I finished laughing, I ran a few numbers which show how ridiculous even 12,000 is for a city our size.

St. Paul Xcel Center – 18,000 seat capacity in a metro population of 3.6 million = .5% of population needed to fill it.
Minneapolis Target Center – 20,000 seat capacity = .56% of population.
Omaha Pepsi Center – 18,000 seat capacity in a metro area of 1.2 million = 1.5% of population needed to fill it.

Huether MacArena – 12,000 seats/228,000 residents in metro area = 5.3% of population needed.

These numbers are why I’ve been against this project from the beginning, regardless of location. We’re spending all this money just to have a shinier building, and outside of a “look at us” opening event or two it will never be filled. Given that the break-even point of most Arena-level concerts is at the 85-90% attendance range, we could even end up with less events than we currently see.

#16 l3wis on 11.16.11 at 9:53 am

I’m starting to think this wasn’t about getting a new Arena this was about lining the pockets of a few contractors and bond investors. Think about it, the recession has hit contractors and bankers hard, they need some quick money to get back on their feet, they don’t care if this place is successful after it is built, they make their money right away, and the taxpayers are left holding the bag for 22-26 years. What if our repayment program to them was structured that way. Remember, dirt will start turning this spring. I wish I would have seen this more clearly before the election.

#17 cr on 11.16.11 at 2:03 pm


It’s just not the 22(+??) years of repayment of the capital costs…………

It’s ALSO the operating costs which the taxpayers will be subsidizing for the “life” of the EC……….(think SF Arena/50 years)

#18 Poly43 on 11.16.11 at 5:16 pm

The Mayor and his team sold the public on a 22 year repayment period with an end date of 2033.

The good mayor also said on your rant-a-bit interest rates would be between 3.75% and 3.5%. Now I watch this Informational Meeting and learn non taxable interest rates are currently at 4.75% and taxable rates at 6.5%????? WTF?!?! Add to that it “may” take til 2037 to pay this off, instead of 2033! DOUBLE WTF?!?!

I have to read SouthDacola to learn this? That’s what really is disappointing in this. Where was your buddy Ellis while this INFORMATION was let out? Where was Stormland? Where were the other two lapdog media outlets?

This is just the beginning. BOHICA my friends. And get used to it.

#19 l3wis on 11.16.11 at 9:32 pm

I think the AL did a story about this the next day, I think Beth W. wrote it.

It will be interesting to see what kind of debate there will be on this Monday night before they vote on the bond. I will also be curious to see the repayment time and interest rate. IMO, the council should not vote for the bonds unless the interest rate is 4% or below and the repayment schedule stays at 22 years, otherwise they are NOT following the will of the people. The public voted on what information they were given, and the council should not usurp it.

#20 cr on 11.17.11 at 6:32 am

The news of a “negotiated” rather than a “competitive” sale of the bonds AND the possibility of the repayment period being extended from 2033 to 2037 came out at 4:00 on Monday…………..(BTW, just SIX days AFTER the election!!!)

I find it very interesting that there has not been a “peep” out of the Mayor explaining “WHY” and it is now three days later!!!

Are any of you 23,284 “YES” voters beginning to feel like you were sold a “bill of goods”????!!!

REMEMBER, it is the Council who will vote on all of this….and THREE OF THEM ARE UP FOR RE-ELECTION IN JUST FIVE MONTHS!!!! (Anderson, Karsky, Jamison)

#21 l3wis on 11.17.11 at 1:56 pm

Like I said, it will be interesting to see the final numbers on Monday. I just looked at the council meeting agenda and there is not one mention of the interest rate or repayment schedule in the agenda item. Unless I missed it;

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