Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fort Wayne Panel Says New Downtown Sports Arena "Desirable And Necessary"

That didn't take long. Billionaire Herb Simon's Indiana Pacers acquired Fort Wayne's Mad Ants, a minor league basketball team, just last year. The city commissioned a study by Hunden Strategic Partners, the same consultant that told Indianapolis' Capital Improvement Board how critical it was that Indianapolis taxpayers start paying tens of millions of dollars in annual subsidies to the Pacers, which naturally recommended a new arena. That's followed by a mayoral committee to study a new arena and, surprise, the committee tells Fort Wayne taxpayers they need a new downtown arena.

The arena committee's chairman, Sweetwater Sound CEO Chuck Surack, announced at a press conference yesterday that his committee found that a new downtown arena was "desirable and necessary" if the city wants to be able to attract the "best and brightest." According to Surack, businesses are just sitting back and waiting to see if Fort Wayne is willing to make investments in "quality of place amenities" before making a decision whether to locate in Fort Wayne. Surack assured Fort Wayne residents that if a new arena is built downtown, it will attract follow-along investments of 7-10 times, none of which I'm sure will require massive public subsidies like all of the rest of Fort Wayne's recent downtown development projects.

How will Fort Wayne pay for the $65 million arena? There could be a new 1% tax on food and beverages. Money from the Legacy Fund could be tapped. Some funding from Fort Wayne's capital improvement board, which would likely issue bonds to finance construction of the 4,500-seat arena. The proponents say the new arena could host college and high school sporting events, musical entertainment and more, in addition to becoming a new home for the Mad Ants to play. According to Surack, having the new arena will free up other events to be hosted at Fort Wayne's Memorial Coliseum, a 13,000-seat multi-purpose arena that was built in 1951 and extensively renovated in 2002 at a cost of $35 million. About $4 million was spent on upgrades at the Coliseum in 2013.


LamLawIndy said...

Here's hoping (yeah, right) that any financing involves REVENUE bonds rather than Gen'l Obligation bonds. After all, if this stadium is going to be net cash flow positive for the city, then there should be no need for the taxpayers to be on the hook in the event of a default.

Pete Boggs said...

Asinine abuse of the public purse! This unqualified "best & brightest"BS needs to be stopped. There is no bigger recipient of welfare than the establishment.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gary, do you think the terrorist attack in Brussels was a false flag event; a Belgian conspiracy to take away the guns of Belgian citizens or incite hatred against innocent Muslims? Because you seem to think all terror attacks on U.S. soil are really perpetrated by our own "government." Does your doubt cross borders? Are these Belgian amputations faked? Have you seen the edited Youtube videos? You're our point man in Indiana on "the truth", right?

Gary R. Welsh said...

If you're dying to know, anon. 9:30, why don't you go do the research and report back on your findings.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to see what Alex Jones was spinning about Brussels on Infowars, but I got distracted by all the ads pulling one into his online store.

They’re selling a poppers bottle full of liquid for $34.95 in the InfoWars life store that they call "Brain Force". “Flip the switch and supercharge your state of mind with Brain Force the next generation of neural activation from Infowars Life.”

They are also selling something called "Oxy-Powder". “Cleanse your life now,” and Joint Formula, "start supporting your body’s natural systems with Joint Formula by Infowars Life today".

And for the peppers they sell bottles of “Survival Shield” and "Liver Shield" and something called "Silver Bullet" which they say is Colloidal Silver, "buy it and get a free antimicrobial toothbrush."

And my favorite, "Alex Recommends" "Super Male Vitality," only $59.95.

I had no idea that Infowars had become a marketing device for highly questionable supplements sales. Nothing like a little conspiracy theory to drum up profitable sales, eh Alex? You've got to love that mark-up, eh Shkreli?

Eric Morris said...

Necessary: the basic requirements for life, like food, water, and air. Since the cronies pushing this garbage are parasites requiring the rest of us hosts, I guess this fits that definition. Their actions also fit definition of conspiracy. Suck it coward anon @ 10:45.

Flogger said...

I suppose cities could save on the consultant fees when building a new stadium is the forgone choice anyway. However, the consultants could not cash in then. It is vital in our World of Crony-Capitalism that all the chosen have a hand in taxpayers pockets.

Why did Carrier decide to leave Indianapolis we have all these Sports Venues that are supposed to be amenities for the attraction of business???

Anonymous said...

Suck it yourself Morris. I get tired of you conspiracy wackos sucking at the teat. This is time of war now. No time for fools. Speak the truth or shut up.

Anonymous said...

Standby Carmel, Westfield and other locales seeking to attract and extract wealth from sports minded visitors. Major taxpayer upgrades will be in order for your facilities after construction of Portage's new sports resort that includes a 150 room hotel, campgrounds, waterpark, recreational lake, drive-in movie, restaurant, and a 160,000square foot dome. More amazing is the fact that the $75 million cost will be privately financed with $6 million going to the city for the purchase of 170acres.Unlike our World Sports Park, if the project is a bust taxpayers will be off the hook.

A new public/private contract for an amateur soccer stadium probably would result in something like the abandoned sports field in Zion, Illinois where the announcer quit on the air; the mascot sued the owner; the owners sued the city for $10 million; and the taxpayers were out $7.83 million.

When will politicos learn that there is nothing in it for taxpayers when signing on to such bad deals? See you on the Red Line.

Anonymous said...

4:48... politicos know damn well there is nothing ever in it for taxpayers. The Demopolubicans know damn well what is in it for their cronies and their politically connected pals... and probably themselves.

It's NEVER "for" the taxpayers. Don't give a damn if it's that lunatic Red Line or what. And just because it could be voted down do not for a moment think the liberal progressive proponents of transit costs without end will stop and slink away forever and the issue will be dead. They will continue to pursue these forever costly programs (with invoices to their cronies, surely) without pause.

Think Vision Fleet, Blue Indy, cricket fields, Covanta, etc., where a USELESS and IMPOTENT City County Council - all of them- ALLOWS THE ILLEGAL TO BE ILLEGAL IN OUR CITY EVERY SINGLE DAY.

IT'S ALL STILL THERE. And they are gonna build more of that crap anywhere they can to benefit their campaign donors. As one of our Chatham/Lockerbie area goofball grandstand Councilors remarked a while back concerning questions about donations to his coffers from digital sign companies he supports.. "The fact is that political campaigns cost a lot of money". Oh, THAT excuse is what we use to justify graft and corruption...

LamLawIndy said...

Anon1:11, two points in rebuttal: 1) It's not a "time of war" because Congress has failed to pass a declaration of war. Say what u want, but until those critters vote for a declaration of war, it constitutionally doesn't exist.

2) If it WAS a time of war, then we need the "conspiracy wackos" to be speaking up & keeping the feds in check. Japanese internment, the grounding of Italian-American fishing boats, violations of POW rights for the crew of U-505 -- hell, maybe even Pearl Harbor itself according to Robert Stinnet -- could've been prevented had we listened to the "conspiracy wackos" during WWII. Ditto for armed conflicts since that time.