Don’t Demolish SF Stadium, SELL IT!

In the private sector, if something doesn’t make money or at least breakeven it goes away. I have often argued that if there is truly a NEED for something, it will pay for itself. The Arena, the Indoor Aquatic Center, Canaries Stadium, The Orpheum, The Washington Pavilion and even the Zoo are operationally subsidized each year by the taxpayers. This doesn’t even include the maintenance and upkeep that comes from the CIP and entertainment tax each year. And who is the biggest offender? The Denty. The taxpayers are on the hook for millions each year in a mortgage payment no matter how many concerts come in or sponsorships.

While many people support the demolition of the Stadium, I say we keep the taxpayers out of the whole deal entirely, sell it as is.

If the Canaries want it, let them buy it and fix it up on their own dime. If a private hotel wants to build there, they can pay the cost of demolition.

Why is it that taxpayers always have to foot the bill whether coming or going? Make this simple, risk free and at no cost and sell the property, even at a discounted rate, and let private industry and the free market take care of it.

As for a public/private partnership with a hotel or baseball stadium, we need to heed the warning of what is happening downtown and the bunker ramp. If people want semi-quasi-minor league baseball in town, they can invest in it or just lease space at Harmadon park as I have suggested in the past.

‘Some’ people in town think we need to subsidize all this entertainment in town for ‘quality of life’. I am for subsidizing the city parks and other amenities, but have you ever looked at ticket prices at these places? I passed going to two different shows this past month at the Pavilion because I just couldn’t see myself paying $80 to see a 90 minute show. I made that mistake ONCE at the Denty. Never again.

I guess what I am saying is that while we are subsidizing these facilities for millions each year, what really are we getting back if you have to drop another $100 at the door? And what about all the people who either can’t go to these facilities, don’t care or cannot afford to? Why should they subsidize them? And don’t believe all this economic impact BS. If we were truly getting an economic impact from it, the hospitality jobs in this town would pay a living wage.

I think we can make this really simple, just sell the stadium as is and be done with it already.


#1 D@ily Spin on 08.22.19 at 12:18 pm

These sort of developments promote local commerce, tourism, and sales tax collection. Any project this size loses money in favor of other gathered revenue. However, any entertainment type mega-project should eventually show a profit. Nothing the city does has ever been profitable and always drains the budget. What there is now must be kept. Demolition costs to much and it’s 5 years at new prices to rebuild. What’s here and now is a draw for the city and from a 100 mile radius. Sure, it’s operated at a loss but look at what is gained from sales tax revenue.
If the city builds a new arena and stadium north near Sanfordville and finances it with all investor bonds, go for it. Thwarting the city into bankruptcy is a good plan. That will be the end of private developer influence. Debt for all entertainment monster projects will be erased. There will always be private bond investors to play the Shell Game with. Promise them 5% but don’t pay them. They’ll use the loss as a deduction against other income.

#2 "Greenland or Fight!" on 08.22.19 at 1:54 pm

If we have to take money from Parks to rebuild our roads, then how can we afford a new diamond, or the costs of escavating the Arena and adding to the Convention Center? None of this adds up to me. But then again, maybe if I went to the ThuneHaken School of Math, I would get a “B”,” and then all of this would make sense to me.

(“Hey, what I heard is “that all roads lead” to the renovated State Theater and a new ball diamond.” (“Yah, but better yet, maybe if we build it, ‘They will come'” …..”The dollars, that is….” 🙁 ))

#3 D@ily Spin on 08.22.19 at 2:59 pm

TenHakken should buy Greenland instead.

#4 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 08.22.19 at 4:01 pm


It would match his color theme, wouldn’t it? I mean, he’s already a part of that Orange City crowd, so why not Greenland, too?

Now, if only he would recognize that rainbow flag…. 🙂

#5 Jon on 08.22.19 at 5:09 pm

Great points @DailySpin. I’m seeing morons on Facebook advocating building a new bird cage downtown. With what money I think to myself.

This mentality has to stop or we will be in a real bad place in the coming years.

#6 LJL on 08.23.19 at 1:42 pm

Please tell us who would buy the birdcage considering the city is now knee deep in financing so many private projects. I would be a fool to buy that property without the taxpayers taking all of the loss.

#7 The Guy from Guernsey on 08.23.19 at 9:42 pm

Yes Jon, the “get a few drinks and a bite to eat beforehand; walk to the game” crowd is musing all over social media about a downtown baseball stadium.

psst, “get a few drinks and a bite to eat beforehand; then walk to the game”? Sounds like the very definition of ‘tailgating’ to me!
Go to Miller Park in Milwaukee three hours before gametime and observe the fun!
Hell, go to the Birdcage on a beautiful summer evening and see a smaller version enjoyed by true baseball fans (or just aficionados of a good parking lot pre-game party).

#8 We should put our civic leaders in a "bird cage!" on 08.24.19 at 1:59 pm

“Tailgating” is a part of our culture. It is an other way to hide the alcoholism.