Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reno Following Indy's Lead In Stupid Bailouts

Reno, Nevada seems to be making the same bad public policy decisions made for decades here in Indianapolis when it comes to publicly-financed professional sports projects. The City of Reno recently financed the construction of a $50 million minor league baseball stadium with $30 million of government-issued bonds backed by a tax on car rentals. The private developers are struggling to compete the first phase of the construction project and are now asking for a $10 million bailout to jump start the project. "It's kind of like a little stimulus package," says Reno Mayor Robert Cashell, who supports the measure. "The city already has agreed to make payments to Nevada Land of as much as $2 million annually for the next 20 years," the Wall Street Journal reports. "The money will come from the increase in property taxes that are expected from the emerging entertainment district." "Under the new plan, the value of the payment to the developers would be increased to $2.5 million." And would you be surprised to learn there is a Simon connection? The WSJ reports:

The private development partnership behind the stadium district includes some heavy retail hitters. It is comprised of Herbert Simon, co-founder of the predecessor company to Simon Property Group Inc. that is one of the country's largest mall owners, as well as Jerry Katzoff, owner of a chain of restaurants known as Il Mulino, and his son, Stuart Katzoff.


Downtown Indy said...

Apparently the local voices against it are correct and casino revenue is NOT s viable way to pay for stadium financing. There are a hell of a lot more casinos in Reno and their stadium is a hell of a lot smaller than ours.

I hope Reno's taxpayers are taking note of how swell our stadium deals have worked out.

thundermutt said...

The story in the Wall Street Journal included an Indiana connection to that story: it seems that Herb Simon is one of the principals in the development entity, Nevada Land.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks, thundermutt. That was my original point in posting the story. I was too tired by the time I posted it last night that I omitted that key fact. It's there now.