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.
â€˜Some’ people in town think we need to subsidize all this entertainment in town for â€˜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.
Here are some slides from the meeting. Hope to have a video up later today.
I know people already accuse me of being a Debbie Downer, but I am afraid we can never make the EC campus an entertainment district.
I moved to Sioux Falls in 1991, and always have lived close to the Downtown area and have lived by the Avera campus for the past 17 years. In this time, I have watched downtown evolve. There was only a handful of restaurants and businesses downtown in 1991, it has taken almost 28 years to make it to what it is today. I’m afraid to say, you are not going to create that kind of atmosphere around the EC campus overnight if ever.
The Washington Pavilion was the gamechanger downtown. It helped to bring in other eateries to the area. The EC and CC just hasn’t had the same impact.
The new EC and Convention Center before that should have NEVER been built in their current locations. Like the bunker ramp downtown, the city continues to polish a turd in the EC campus area.
While I agree we need another hotel in the area, turning it into a â€˜walkable area’ is a stretch. I saw this on Sunday afternoon. I planned on riding the entire bike trail until I got to Russell Avenue where the trail was blockaded for the air show, so I had to ride my bike along Russell to downtown. While the sidewalk was nice and wide from the bike trail to about the Sheraton, it was a different story once I got past West Avenue. There is NO sidewalk, only a concrete angled embankment that you can’t ride a bike on, let alone walk on. The service road along Russell is in bad shape and riddled with potholes.
Along my ride on the sidewalk past the campus I noticed that NOT only is there nothing but parking lots there is NOTHING inviting about the area. Between Elmwood Park on Kiwanis and West Avenue it is literally a barren wasteland.
Besides adding onto the convention center by demolishing the Arena and tearing down the baseball stadium for a hotel, I’m not sure what we can do to totally change the area. Sometimes mistakes of the past just can’t be fixed, and if they can, it won’t happen overnight. I still think that a wiser use of taxpayer dollars would be rebuilding our core neighborhoods with a redirection of TIF money and other rebate programs. It would have a greater economic impact then anything we do at the cursed EC campus location. Enough of the corporate welfare and private/public partnerships that only benefit the top.
From a South DaCola foot soldier today;
The task force will make a final recommendation and cost estimate on August 21, but this is what they are looking at;
â€¢ Demolish the arena and double convention center to 120,000 sq ft. (I think it would be much cheaper to use the facility and make it into a 2-story convention space structure. But I’m sure some engineer with ties to a contractor told them to tear it down instead (Actually, there is a representative from Journey Construction on the Taskforce). Did you know the Arena was basically built as a storm shelter? It is a fortress, it will cost well over $2 million to tear down).
â€¢ Build another on-site hotel through a public/private partnership. (While I agree, we need another hotel at the site, it should be done privately. The city should either sell the land or lease it. I guess we learned nothing from the DT Parking Ramp Bunker downtown).
â€¢ Demolish SF Stadium and re-locate. (I am all for tearing it down and using the land for a new hotel, BUT, if it is relocated and built somewhere else, it should be with private money).
â€¢ There was also NO mention if the public gets to vote on the deal. This could easily cost us $50 million if NOT more, it must go to the taxpayers to decide.
I guess there was NO sign of the media at the meeting this morning, so you are hearing it here first, as usual.