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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2008 :  08:34:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The World-Herald updated the Hal Daub comments since Wednesday:
quote:
Daub said he will stand firm against the Lot C and E plan unless the city turns over multiple nearby lots to MECA to be used for additional parking. Daub said the city should purchase the Union Pacific property north of Cuming Street and east of 11th Street and give it to MECA. Daub also wants MECA to have a strip of land now owned by Gallup that would enable it to build a pedestrian bridge over Cuming to gain access to the parking lot on the Union Pacific site.

Finally, Daub said the city should give MECA control over the former Pinnacle Foods site at 10th Street and Capitol Avenue.

"That would open the door (to a stadium agreement)," Daub said.

In other words, the stadium isn't the issue. The issue is MECA's need for more control.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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MavEconomist
Junior Mav

Tonga
585 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2008 :  09:32:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, give them the control of 10th and Capitol for parking. But the city keeps the $6 per car...

Why, oh why, can't the city reign in these power-mad creeps?

************************************************
res ipsa loquitur
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hackermav
Minister of Antagonism

1039 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2008 :  09:52:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Sokol said MECA would want to run the stadium only if it was built on the grounds of the convention center and arena. If Rosenblatt or another downtown site is selected, MECA has no need to be involved, he said.

"We are not power hungry," Sokol said.


Does Daub expect the City to also pay for any improvements to any of these lands that we would be giving control to MECA?

I wonder what MECA will argue when they determine it is time to expand the convention center? They will need more money than have in their coffers. I hope the city comes back and says 'only if you give us control to the new addition and this indiscriminately placed strip of grass'.

Anyone know the amount of signatures needed to get a vote to recall MECA?
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  08:11:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
More tales of hope and amument from the kingdom of make believe.

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10267767



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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  08:40:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I read that, my response was..."And your point is what, exactly?" The city and CWS, Inc. are trying to find a solution that appeases the NCAA. Jason Smith and Councilman Gernandt are sounding like broken records here when they keep saying "Fixing Rosenblatt is cheaper" because they continually avoid discussing the very reasons why Rosenblatt is becoming obsolete for the CWS. (Aging infrastructure, surrounded by houses and tents instead of hotels, etc.)

Shatel gave the reasons this weekend why the NCAA gets the details first, and people still don't seem to get it. Or at least, don't want to acknowledge it while they are grandstanding.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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NoClu
Senior Mav

Equatorial Guinea
1723 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  09:55:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The more of the crap I see from these guys, MECA, Save Rosenblatt, and other whiners, the less convinced I am that the CWS will stay in Omaha. Couple that with Fahey's incompetent management of PR related to his vision for the city, limited "high profile" support of the down-town site and smokescreen issues (e.g., no parking, traffic flow, etc.) and it will almost be a miracle if the event does stay.

"You can't spell War without W!
Serving it up for 4 + years!"

Steve Coppard
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hackermav
Minister of Antagonism

1039 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  10:01:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
These people think Rosenblatt is like Wrigley or Fenway. It just isn't. It is an aging, no longer viable, outdated stadium that eventually will need a complete teardown. Let's do it now and get 30 years for our money.

Even Skip Bertman (I believe that's his name) from LSU said 'You know if they are tearing down Yankee Stadium and building a new one, they can tear down Rosenblatt and build a new one in town'. (I'm paraphrasing, but that was the basic concept of his quote to Shatel.)
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The Judge
Sophomore Mav

Germany
415 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  10:03:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the new home of the CWS. It's been quite a few months since I went/posted this site but going back to it, the place is everything the NCAA has hinted at.

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/ballpark/page.jsp?ymd=20050630&content_id=13591&vkey=ballpark_t484&fext=.jsp&sid=t484



"Don't get eliminated": Kenny Blankenship-MXC
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  11:17:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The NCAA sounds happy with the plan at least... Now they want Omaha to get behind it...
quote:
The NCAA officials said today that they are pleased with the effort put into Omaha's plan for a new downtown ballpark.

That reaction came after Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey met with NCAA executives to propose a ballpark on the Qwest Center Omaha parking lots.

Tom Jernstedt, executive vice president of the NCAA, said after the meeting that he wants "broad-based support" from the Omaha community and a financing plan in place. He said the NCAA plans to meet with Omaha officials again about April 30.

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10268519

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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MavEconomist
Junior Mav

Tonga
585 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  11:18:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Judge

Welcome to the new home of the CWS. It's been quite a few months since I went/posted this site but going back to it, the place is everything the NCAA has hinted at.

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/ballpark/page.jsp?ymd=20050630&content_id=13591&vkey=ballpark_t484&fext=.jsp&sid=t484



"Don't get eliminated": Kenny Blankenship-MXC


Or this one:

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/ballpark/page.jsp?ymd=20070407&content_id=203603&vkey=ballpark_t238&fext=.jsp&sid=t238


************************************************
res ipsa loquitur
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  11:22:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How they're going to pay for it will make it or break it. The Save Rosenblatt idiots will complain no matter what...but it's the middle swing majority that will say yay or nay.

Anybody shocked the NCAA would be "pleased"? The city has bent over backwards to keep this event for decades. What, you think Zestos is the reason they still play it here? I'm all against anti-authority and anti-government leaders..but it's greasy, back-room politics that has been just as important as any stadium or any hospitality tent.

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mrkaline
Mav Scout in Indiana

Poland
1475 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  12:21:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Judge

Welcome to the new home of the CWS. It's been quite a few months since I went/posted this site but going back to it, the place is everything the NCAA has hinted at.

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/ballpark/page.jsp?ymd=20050630&content_id=13591&vkey=ballpark_t484&fext=.jsp&sid=t484



I attend 6 to 10 games a year at Victory Field. It is a great ballpark with a great view of downtown. It's part of the White River State Park, close to hotels, parking, bars, and eateries. This is the type of Park Omaha needs to build, in a similar setting.

http://www.in.gov/whiteriver/


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Bigredmed
Senior Mav

1574 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  1:35:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJMav

How they're going to pay for it will make it or break it. The Save Rosenblatt idiots will complain no matter what...but it's the middle swing majority that will say yay or nay.

Anybody shocked the NCAA would be "pleased"? The city has bent over backwards to keep this event for decades. What, you think Zestos is the reason they still play it here? I'm all against anti-authority and anti-government leaders..but it's greasy, back-room politics that has been just as important as any stadium or any hospitality tent.




The current mix of taxes versus private funds is 75% tax, 25% private. None of the beneficiaries of this effort are paying anything. Creighton isn't coming up with any land or cash. The Royals aren't coming up with any cash. The NCAA, like any blackmailer, isn't kicking in a penny. Fahey wants a landmark that he can use as his "legacy" and raison d'etre for a state-wide race for governor or the Senate, yet despite his millions, he isn't kicking in any.

We have a lot of needs in the city. We have a lot of people who don't watch the CWS, and who don't profit from it AT ALL. Sadly, these are the same people who will watch their needs go un-met, while being hit for more taxes to pay for the bonds on the blatt, pay for the tearing down of the blatt, and pay for this new stadium.

As I have said before, I am willing to go an extra $100 a year for the CWS. That's $100 more than I have ever gotten from the CWS. More than that, and the NCAA can hire the moving vans.

I hold no love for the blatt, but I am not going to let some slimy insider politics ruin the finances of our city.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  1:49:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
More from the OWH
quote:
But Jernstedt put two critical conditions on finalizing a deal to keep the CWS in Omaha for decades after the current contract expires in 2010:

"Broad-based support" in Omaha.

A workable financing plan for the up to $140 million stadium.

Fahey and Jack Diesing Jr., president of College World Series of Omaha Inc., said today that they are confident they can achieve both tasks.

Asked to rate his confidence that he can make a downtown stadium a reality, Diesing put the number at "99.2 percent." Fahey upped that number to 99.3 percent.



And Fahey schedules an official announcement for tomorrow:
quote:
Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey laid out plans to take his downtown stadium proposal public.

A formal announcement about the stadium plans will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

A Web site with stadium information will go live at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The address is http://www.omahastadium.com

Public forums on the stadium are planned for March 6, 8 and 10. More details on the times and locations will be announced later.

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10268519

Why not until now?
quote:
Fahey said it has not been his desire to pursue a downtown stadium site in secret, as he has been accused of by his detractors. The plan could not be rolled out publicly until after it was presented to "our partners of the last 50 years," Fahey said, referring to the NCAA.


Those meetings should be rather entertaining, if nothing else.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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who dey
Sophomore Mav

USA
456 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  2:08:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Can someone explain why we gave MECA a 99 year lease instead of a 10 or 20 year one? These folks can hold us hostage over something WE pay for. Don't let them control the new stadium no matter where they put it.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  2:40:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bigredmed

We have a lot of needs in the city. We have a lot of people who don't watch the CWS, and who don't profit from it AT ALL. Sadly, these are the same people who will watch their needs go un-met, while being hit for more taxes to pay for the bonds on the blatt, pay for the tearing down of the blatt, and pay for this new stadium.



So where was this fiscal guilt and responsibility when we dumped 60 million into the damn thing the first time? (in 1997)? How much would a new stadium cost then? (Answer = much less than $140 million)

I cannot WAIT to see the Kill Omaha (Save Rosenblatt) people FREAK tomorrow.

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Mojo325is
McQueen...

Brazil
1654 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  2:50:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bigredmed

The current mix of taxes versus private funds is 75% tax, 25% private. None of the beneficiaries of this effort are paying anything. Creighton isn't coming up with any land or cash. The Royals aren't coming up with any cash. The NCAA, like any blackmailer, isn't kicking in a penny. Fahey wants a landmark that he can use as his "legacy" and raison d'etre for a state-wide race for governor or the Senate, yet despite his millions, he isn't kicking in any.

We have a lot of needs in the city. We have a lot of people who don't watch the CWS, and who don't profit from it AT ALL. Sadly, these are the same people who will watch their needs go un-met, while being hit for more taxes to pay for the bonds on the blatt, pay for the tearing down of the blatt, and pay for this new stadium.

As I have said before, I am willing to go an extra $100 a year for the CWS. That's $100 more than I have ever gotten from the CWS. More than that, and the NCAA can hire the moving vans.

I hold no love for the blatt, but I am not going to let some slimy insider politics ruin the finances of our city.



I'm going to refute a few of your points and ask for clarification.

Do you have any proof that the O-Royals or CU isn't going to help fund a new stadium? The Royals have gone on record saying that they would help contribute to a new stadium, as has CU so I don't know where you got your information from.

You may not see an extra hundred dollars as a tax credit, or cash in your pocket as a result of the series. But the money is being spent in our community.

For example, (and this is as basic as it gets) I work as a freelance writer during the Series, covering games and writing stories for various publications. The money that I'm paid for that writing gets spent locally, thus contributing to the local economy money that otherwise wouldn't get spent here.

As a matter of fact, I've already ear-marked the money I'll make on the '08 CWS for a new HD flatscreen, that I'll likely purchase at the Mega Mart, keeping the money local. That means that the money I spend, which I received as a direct result of the series, will be used on goods and services in our community and will help pay the salary of someone local who in turn will spend money locally. Make sense?

And you know what? There's hundreds of people just like me, in all ages and working in all sorts of areas. The Concierge at the hotel who will make a few extra bucks making dinner reservations, the bar owner who runs a beer tent on 13th Street, the waiter at the restaurant that gets a rush during the series, the techno-geek (sorry Jess!) working at the Apple store who sells a new iPod to someone from Storm Lake, Iowa.

Not to mention the fact that the Series brings hundreds upon hundreds of youth baseball players and families for regional tournaments that coincide with the series. You don't think they've spent hundreds of dollars by the time they leave Omaha?

What about every college baseball media guide across the country that has 'The Road to Omaha' printed inside it?

What about EA Sports College Baseball Game that features Rosenblatt Stadium in it?

What about the Easton's line of 'Omaha' baseball equipment that's used by youth, college kids and adult baseball leagues across the country?

Omaha is the city it is because of our progressive forefathers who brought and kept the CWS here when no one wanted it and it was losing money. It's time to do whatever it takes to ensure that it remains here for generations to come.

------------


Trying to elude the Mickey Mouse Brigade
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Bigredmed
Senior Mav

1574 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  4:16:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mojo325is

quote:
Originally posted by Bigredmed

Do you have any proof that the O-Royals or CU isn't going to help fund a new stadium? The Royals have gone on record saying that they would help contribute to a new stadium, as has CU so I don't know where you got your information from.


>>There is no data published in the Omaha World Hearld to that effect. The Royals GM was on 1620 last week and made no mention of any financial participation. Creighton has made no mention of any financial participation. If you have figures and direct quotes, let me know.
[quote]
Omaha is the city it is because of our progressive forefathers who brought and kept the CWS here when no one wanted it and it was losing money. It's time to do whatever it takes to ensure that it remains here for generations to come.


Omaha wasn't bankrupt or close to it when the "progressive" forefathers brought the CWS here. The NCAA wasn't blackmailing us till it got popular. Till then, they were just happy being anywhere.

Before you go all politically Shinto on us, keep in mind that these same "progressive" forefathers knew about our current sewer problem, had a survey by HDR, and construction estimate by Peter Kiewitt, and a means of paying for it that would have kept most of the burden off the citizens in hand in 1953, but failed to act on it. Now we have the feds demanding action to the tune of a cool $1B that somehow our venerable progressive forefathers always found some reason to avoid doing anything about.

Our current leaders have left us with police and fire labor problems, huge public works bills, a still unpaid $13M in bonds on the Blatt, and debt on the convention center side of the Qwest that is coming due.

Please find the $140M. As long as it doesn't come off my hide, I will be happy for you as you enjoy your big screen. Of course, the fairest way to pay for this is to tax those people who will actually benefit from it. Perhaps you could do with a small screen?
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  4:36:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bigredmed

Before you go all politically Shinto on us, keep in mind that these same "progressive" forefathers knew about our current sewer problem, had a survey by HDR, and construction estimate by Peter Kiewitt, and a means of paying for it that would have kept most of the burden off the citizens in hand in 1953, but failed to act on it. Now we have the feds demanding action to the tune of a cool $1B that somehow our venerable progressive forefathers always found some reason to avoid doing anything about.

Our current leaders have left us with police and fire labor problems, huge public works bills, a still unpaid $13M in bonds on the Blatt, and debt on the convention center side of the Qwest that is coming due.

Please find the $140M. As long as it doesn't come off my hide, I will be happy for you as you enjoy your big screen. Of course, the fairest way to pay for this is to tax those people who will actually benefit from it. Perhaps you could do with a small screen?


Hmmm...ok then. My west Omaha SID took out debt to put in streets and sewers that I've been paying for years. So since I won't benefit from repairing the hundred year old sewers on the east side of town, figure out a way for the east Omaha folks to pay to fix their sewers. After all, the people who actually benefit from it should pay for it.

Right?


Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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hackermav
Minister of Antagonism

1039 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  4:49:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Omaha wasn't bankrupt or close to it when the "progressive" forefathers brought the CWS here. The NCAA wasn't blackmailing us till it got popular. Till then, they were just happy being anywhere.

Before you go all politically Shinto on us, keep in mind that these same "progressive" forefathers knew about our current sewer problem, had a survey by HDR, and construction estimate by Peter Kiewitt, and a means of paying for it that would have kept most of the burden off the citizens in hand in 1953, but failed to act on it. Now we have the feds demanding action to the tune of a cool $1B that somehow our venerable progressive forefathers always found some reason to avoid doing anything about.

Our current leaders have left us with police and fire labor problems, huge public works bills, a still unpaid $13M in bonds on the Blatt, and debt on the convention center side of the Qwest that is coming due.

Please find the $140M. As long as it doesn't come off my hide, I will be happy for you as you enjoy your big screen. Of course, the fairest way to pay for this is to tax those people who will actually benefit from it. Perhaps you could do with a small screen?


Everyone of those things you mention will cost everyone of us money. Whether it was paid for 30 years ago or 30 years from now. I don't see a one that will bring in any sort of tax relief, as the CWS most certainly does. $140 million worth? Debatable. But it is not like we would be throwing $140 million down the toilet, we would get something in return for our money spent.

The $13 million in Rosenblatt bonds will be owed whether we renovate or build anew. Bringing it up only convuludes the problem. And we could get something in return for the Rosenblatt land if we sell it. So stop bringing it up.

And those who do go to the CWS will mainly be the ones paying for it. parking fees, seat taxes, concessions, etc. I don't see how we can't come up with $140 million in 30 years in just the new stadium itself.

$135M (new est cost) - $35M (priv. donation) - $20M (naming) - $15M (parking) - $13M (seat tax) - $30M (keno) = $22M left over to pay off

We only have to have an economic benefit of +$22M over the next 30 years and we break even. That is so simple.

Even if you can find a way to get Rosenblatt down to that same #, you still have a 50 year old stadium without any restaurants or hotels around.

I just don't understand how anyone can argue against that logic. And sentiment doesn't mean jack squat to the NCAA. if it did, they would not have told Fahey and crew to proceed.
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Mojo325is
McQueen...

Brazil
1654 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2008 :  4:50:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bigredmed


quote:
by me

Do you have any proof that the O-Royals or CU isn't going to help fund a new stadium? The Royals have gone on record saying that they would help contribute to a new stadium, as has CU so I don't know where you got your information from.

Omaha is the city it is because of our progressive forefathers who brought and kept the CWS here when no one wanted it and it was losing money. It's time to do whatever it takes to ensure that it remains here for generations to come.



There is no data published in the Omaha World Hearld to that effect. The Royals GM was on 1620 last week and made no mention of any financial participation. Creighton has made no mention of any financial participation. If you have figures and direct quotes, let me know.

Omaha wasn't bankrupt or close to it when the "progressive" forefathers brought the CWS here. The NCAA wasn't blackmailing us till it got popular. Till then, they were just happy being anywhere.

Before you go all politically Shinto on us, keep in mind that these same "progressive" forefathers knew about our current sewer problem, had a survey by HDR, and construction estimate by Peter Kiewitt, and a means of paying for it that would have kept most of the burden off the citizens in hand in 1953, but failed to act on it. Now we have the feds demanding action to the tune of a cool $1B that somehow our venerable progressive forefathers always found some reason to avoid doing anything about.

Our current leaders have left us with police and fire labor problems, huge public works bills, a still unpaid $13M in bonds on the Blatt, and debt on the convention center side of the Qwest that is coming due.

Please find the $140M. As long as it doesn't come off my hide, I will be happy for you as you enjoy your big screen. Of course, the fairest way to pay for this is to tax those people who will actually benefit from it. Perhaps you could do with a small screen?



Whoa! Holy taking my stuff out of context batman!

(note: I've cleaned up your quotes because they were very confusing)

1) Alan Stein (Royals Owner) has said before that the team would contribute to a new stadium.

2) Where did I say Omaha was bankrupt or close to it? I said that the CWS was an event that lost money during it's early years in Omaha, and until it got here, really didn't have a home. It was played in Wichita and in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the first few years of it's inception.

3) Ed Servais has told me that the program has money ear-marked for a new stadium.

4) I will enjoy the TV, thank you. I've had a much smaller set for years and I figured this summer would be a nice time to upgrade.

You've got a great NIMBY argument going there, you really do. Mike hit the nail on the head.

It's like the people that b*tch about paying for schools 'I don't have kids, why do I care if yours are idiots?'


------------


Trying to elude the Mickey Mouse Brigade
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hackermav
Minister of Antagonism

1039 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2008 :  07:55:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://www.omahastadium.com/

And here is the website of the new stadium. Not up until 2pm today.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2008 :  08:04:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hackermav

Even if you can find a way to get Rosenblatt down to that same #, you still have a 50 year old stadium without any restaurants or hotels around.





Try 60

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icesoar
New Recruit

USA
29 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2008 :  10:21:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fahey said in the interview yesterday that the city would no longer share revenue with the County from Keno earnings. He wants those funds earmarked for the stadium.

The County shot back that they need the funds and could not make them up accept to raise property taxes again to Douglas County residences.

If this is Fahey's way of keeping us from paying the majority of the cost of the stadium I don't think he understands about property taxes.

soarice
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hackermav
Minister of Antagonism

1039 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2008 :  10:45:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now I do see this as a problem, but the County needs to change it's stance on things. They have been, in at least recent memory, very negative towards anything that bursts their little bubble. Times change and they needs to figure out a way to work through it, instead of complaining about it. They have no recourse except to cut costs, run their own Keno, or find another source of revenue. They have 3 years to solve the problem.

And I feel this even though it will probably hit my bank account.
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Papa Bear Mav
"Witness"

Italy
1269 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2008 :  10:46:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The city won't raise your taxes, but the county will have to when Fahey rescinds their keno funding.

Already the 5th highest hotel tax in the country and aiming for #1 -wonder why no major conferences will book Omaha?

UP will unload a piec of property for either the ballpark or parking that no private investors will take on since even after a Superfund cleanup it will be foul.
The shell game continues.

The homeowners and taxpayers will pay.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2008 :  11:54:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Papa Bear Mav

The city won't raise your taxes, but the county will have to when Fahey rescinds their keno funding.

Already the 5th highest hotel tax in the country and aiming for #1 -wonder why no major conferences will book Omaha?

The keno issue is a tax shift. If the state cuts the support to school districts, it forces school districts to raise property taxes. It might be technically correct to say that the "city property tax won't go up", but to argue that property taxes won't go up is probably a fallacy.

The hotel tax is a red herring. Nobody pays attention to hotel taxes when selecting hotels for the most part... except, of course, when it gets to the bottom line. Now, as a percentage, yes Omaha's hotel tax is going to be high. But if you take the hotel tax in terms of pure dollars, it's probably in the bottom half of the country. Hotel rooms are fairly inexpensive in Omaha compared to many other places. Nobody in their right mind is going to reject visiting Omaha because the hotel tax might cost $16 instead of $14 a night.

They'll choose or reject Omaha on a host of other issues, including the total price of the hotel room (of which the tax is a component, but frequently a secondary component). A $99 hotel room might jump up to $115 with the additional tax. Is someone really going to choose a place with a $150 room just so they only pay $10 in hotel tax? The bottom line still says $115 is cheaper than $150.


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admin
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Posted - 02/27/2008 :  12:41:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was on the road yesterday so I missed the press conference.

One thing David points out (that we all tend to forget) is that the Asarco property, where the Qwest Center currently sits, was a site that required the cleanup of toxic material before building could commence. That is partly why the city wants to build in a parking lot that has already been "cleaned."

It is interesting that they want to use Keno revenue to build the facility.

The problem with increasing the hotel tax is that Omaha isn't as "attractive" a site as say Denver or Seattle. So Omaha has to compete on other grounds. I'm guessing a lower overall hotel price could be one of those hooks.

All of this discussion goes back to the original problem -- which is that Fahey failed to sell Omaha on this project. We sold Omahans on the idea that we needed a $230 million convention center/arena. We even sold them on the creation of a new governmental bureaucracy -- MECA -- to run it.

They are now going to try and sell us on the baseball stadium "after the fact." That is fine, but Fahey's fate in the next mayoral election is probably already doomed.

It was ridiculous to assume that they could fund an undertaking like this without a tax increase in some way, shape or form.

At least the BuildItOmaha people sold Omaha on a new arena and got it passed on the ballot. The fact that citizens had a say has "squashed" a lot of the public subsequent years.

I think what has fueled the ire of many Omahans is that there'll be a tax increase of some sort to fund this project -- and they won't have a say in it.

I believe if they'd done this properly, they could have sold Omahans on the concept of funding a downtown stadium with a ballot initiative. Or, conversely, they could have sold the NCAA on a new (or improved) stadium on the existing site.

I just think the past 6-12 months have been botched on the part of the mayor.
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West O Mike
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Posted - 02/27/2008 :  12:42:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To get some real information on "major conventions", I went out to Orbitz and checked prices on 4 star hotels near downtown. Here's what I found.

Des Moines (Renaissance): $189/night base price. Tax: $34.02. Total $223.02
Omaha (Hilton): $169/night base. Tax $33.84. Total $202.84
Kansas City (Hilton): $169/night base. Tax $29.82. Total $198.82
Mineapolis (Hyatt): $179/night base. Tax $30.94. Total $209.94

If the hotel tax goes up 1%, that increases the tax at the Hilton by $1.69 to $35.53. But the end line total goes to $204.52. Didn't change Omaha's position in the comparison, and the difference between Omaha and KC is still only about $5.

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West O Mike
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Christmas Island
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Posted - 02/27/2008 :  12:48:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by admin

I believe if they'd done this properly, they could have sold Omahans on the concept of funding a downtown stadium with a ballot initiative. Or, conversely, they could have sold the NCAA on a new (or improved) stadium on the existing site.

Umm...I don't think you "sell" the NCAA, the NCAA tells you what you need to do. I think that's what most people who are up in arms over this are missing. You ignore the NCAA's requests/demands at your own peril. Fahey knows this. Diesing knows this. Most of Omaha's power brokers know this.

Save Rosenblatt doesn't.

What about MECA? Well, the Qwestapo operates in it's own little world, and they know they've got something the city wants. They are simply negotiating at this point.

I don't know where some Omahans get this idea of the NCAA being this cute and cuddly organization. In the rest of the college sports universe, people have different ideas about the NCAA. I mean, why does Worchester keep getting NCAA hockey regionals?

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