Monday, October 20, 2008

Say It Ain't So

Packard Place is officially dead, according to Blue Dot Corporation's, Garcia. I think it would be safe to say Chant Tower is permanently on hold as well at this time. I'm quite certain the only opportunity that this city has to see a high rise built is if the arena gets built.

Note to the city of Albuquerque: 12,000 seats is superbly insufficient. We're a larger market than Des Moines, Wichita, Tulsa, Grand Rapids and soon, Omaha. In a best case scenario, this glorified gym will take two years or so to be constructed. By then, the metro population will be pushing 900,000 and our trade area will be pushing 1,050,000 million when accounting for the Santa Fe market. Furthermore, these buildings have a lifespan of 25-40 years. By providing a 12,000 seat arena, it suggests we'll never be major league worthy? Apparently I'm not seeing something...

Arena porn:

Kansas City:

Tulsa:

O! ...maha
In a future post, I'd like to discuss the Rio Grande Foundation's so called "think tank" and their leader, Paul Gessing. Does anyone have any information about "that one"? If it were up to him, we'd never build a thing as long as it was payed for with taxes. Perhaps we should privatize schools....

4 comments:

Michael Bernstein said...

Note to Tim: Far from being the economic boost proponents say, urban vanity stadium projects produce a net-negative effect on the local economy. Here are some links:

http://creativecass.typepad.com/thecreativityexchange/2007/12/the-stadium-rus.html (which links to http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv23n2/coates.pdf )

Florida has said more on stadium projects, BTW:

http://www.creativeclass.com/creative_class/2008/07/19/stadium-schmadium/

I also found this article:

http://www.news.uiuc.edu/news/04/1117stadiums.html

Tim said...

Michael;

Thanks for the response. I've read these arguments against these facilities and I'm not convinced that these projects are not worth their effort.

In the creative class article, they state "The real tragedies are in smaller, older, stagnating rustbelt cities - like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, St. Louis and others, where city revenues are terribly strapped and stadium funding takes away from pressing local needs from police and fire to schools and parks." Well, Albuquerque is not like those declining cities. In fact, it is an up and coming city with a growing, diversifying job base (even in today's economy).

In the Illinois study, I must note that this study was conducted by the Cato Institute, which is known to be against publicly subsidized anything. What they do not take into account is the actual transformation of the areas surrounding these structures. Travel to Denver, Omaha, Des Moines, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Grand Rapids, etc., etc. These neighborhoods have been transformed (which is often a major intention of the city) and in every case, the public sense of pride has seen an increase. Can you put a price tag on that? No, but it is noteworthy.

Currently, ABQ misses out on a lot of entertainment. As a 20 something, I have been forced to travel to other cities with these facilities to attend events that currently won't touch ABQ because we do not have the facilities to host them.

Is an arena the only answer to downtown development? No, but it is a key part in creating a 24 hour city. Furthermore, these facilities have a way of infusing increased development around them.

You can next argue that Rio Rancho's facility is losing money and attracts events. Yes, but it attracts events that attract less than 8,000 people due to its size. In addition, the city made a huge mistake putting it so far away from the majority of the population, while providing two or three, two-lane access points.

I'll stop here but I would be willing to continue this discussion.

Tino said...

I think stadiums downtown are a bad idea. Who wants to live anywhere near a stadium? I definetely wouldn't. And unless some event is going on the area's going to be a deadsville.

Tim said...

I think it would be a bad idea to put it downtown if, say, they required a sea of parking lots all around. In this case, they have done a terrific job of working the development into the fabric of our downtown.

On one side, they include a garage and condos/apartments to buffer the east downtown neighborhood. The west side faces the office core, providing plenty of daytime business for the shop and restaurants. The plan also adds to the attraction of the convention center as it makes it more viable.

These places typically bring in events every two or three nights on average so it would actually be very busy. You have a daytime population of around 20,000, and in the evenings you bring in another 5,000-12,000. The parking infrastructure already handles those numbers so there is little in the way of parking requirements.

The feasibility study is very thorough and covers every conceivable issue.