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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2009 :  10:15:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Speaking with an inside source, I can report that there is SERIOUS doubts about the cost of the Sarpy stadium. Haymarket cost 28 million bucks back 8-10 years ago...and yet they're going to build this one for 20 million?

I'm all for cutting corners, but I think what you are going to find is the MAC of all minor league baseball stadiums. Concrete, chairs and grass. Hell, scoreboards alone are in the million dollar range on the high end.

I'm all for the stadium if they can stick it up Roger's...nose. But something doesn't seem right here. 6,000 seats is small for triple A anyway..now you're going to cut corners on price? Stein is taking a giantic risk here. Huge.

PS - The NAIA has a HUGE setup with Lewiston Idaho for the NAIA world series. (I think they have a multi year deal as well.) Not saying Mike Evans isn't crazy enough to bid for the NAIA world series..just saying there is more to it than just assuming they'll come here.

Lewiston Idaho is home of the greatest small school baseball team in history, and they average about 5,000 per game...7,000 for the series. Trust me, that would be an uphill battle.
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adammd
Sophomore Mav

463 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2009 :  10:40:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJMav

I'm all for the stadium if they can stick it up Roger's...nose. But something doesn't seem right here. 6,000 seats is small for triple A anyway..now you're going to cut corners on price? Stein is taking a giantic risk here. Huge.



I don't really see the risk a being that big. It can't be worse than it was at the Blatt. They will still be making bank. But yeah, the MAC of ballparks sounds correct. Per the OWH, the Royals are on the hook for:

$350,000 for pre-development costs by June 1.
$2 million cash: half upon occupancy; the rest in year three.
$450,000 annual rent.

They get all ticket, suite sublease and concessions revenue from games and team events. They get the first 300K of naming rights, and 50% after that. Plus all parking revenue from team games and county held events, plus 10% of the concessions for county held events.

Sure, its not as good as the deal they had, but even if they hold on to lower end attendance, I still don't see how that can't make money on this.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2009 :  11:33:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh it's a big deal..but it's still a risk. Development is always a gamble, especially if Roger pulls a rabbit out of his hat and finds a way to fill White Elephant Stadium 50 weeks a year downtown. As I've stated before, many other AAA teams play in the suburbs (New Orleans, Colorado Springs etc)...but it isn't done every day. Stein and company are not from here...so they're really taking a risk to think that this site would be a PERMENANT draw for suburbanites...even though everything else is developing downtown.

Also you have to take into account alternate sources of income such as concessions and merchendise. The Royals have NEVER been in the top 50 in minor league merch sales, and at 20 million bucks..you might be able to support a couple of hot dog stands. I'm not saying it's not a good deal for them...it's a great deal for them.

I'm just saying it might not be the best deal for those who actually care about baseball in Omaha.

(And yes..this is still 100% Roger's fault)
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2009 :  12:31:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
don't assume they aren't cutting any corners in the new downtown stadium either. fahey was pretty much pigeonholed into a price due to the amount it would have cost to renovate rosenblatt and they are pretty much stuck with that as a ceiling for the new ballpark no matter how much things actually cost.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2009 :  8:16:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
150 million > 20 million
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2009 :  8:58:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
23,000 seats + more suites > 6,600 + a few suites + grass berm in terms of cost.

I guess I don't understand the point you are trying to make unless that it's the two stadiums are apples and oranges for two events that are themselves apples and oranges.

If you want to use cost arguments like that, an average MLB stadium costs $300-400 million and is much closer in terms of size and amenities to the downdown stadium than the downtown stadium is to the sarpy stadium. $150 million is a big number but it doesn't mean that it is enough to truly fund a project of this scale and size.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  08:28:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My point is 28 million dollars isn't going to buy you very much...even for a AAA team.
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adammd
Sophomore Mav

463 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  09:09:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJMav

My point is 28 million dollars isn't going to buy you very much...even for a AAA team.



Was down in Phoenix last weekend and got to see two of the new stadiums they opened this year for spring training (Indians & Dodgers). I was told the indians stadium was done for 106 million. It holds 10K fans, 8K in seats, 1500 lawn, and 500 deck viewing. It was nice, but not over the top. I am sure it has plenty of amenities the Sarpy Royals will not have, but....

Funny thing is at the time we were comparing it to the DT stadium saying if this cost 106, what is the city going to get for 140 or whatever that cost is, i guess it applies to all of Omaha's new stadiums.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  09:37:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is actually a great time to build as long as you have the funding. My brother is a construction engineer and with the possible exception of lumber all other materials (plus labor) have dropped in the last year due to the decrease in volume. The bids are much more competitive as well as the excess capacity in the contruction industry has led to more bids per job. A very harsh environment for those in the industry.

Greg
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  10:12:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I get what you're saying and my only point was that even $150 million isn't a big budget for the new DT stadium and corners will be cut there too. It seems like we are trying to do these projects on the cheap a bit. I think anyone who thinks either of these stadiums will be palaces of baseball are kidding themselves. However, I think the level of expectations are set much lower for a Sarpy stadium. I really think that the benchmark of expectations for Sarpy is being set in most peoples minds by Haymarket. If this proposed stadium can come close to matching that, I don't think that people would pretty much be ecstatic about it.

Most figures I've seen put haymarket at around $30 million in 2000. Although, I think that figure also included the softball field which is an added expense that Sarpy wouldn't have to deal with. A couple of years ago, Sarpy's cost would have been much higher than that considering inflation, but, as greg S mentioned, with the cost of materials down and construction down with the general economy, there are deals to be had.

I'm not saying they probably won't go on the cheap in a few areas (and have to pay for it later when they realize their mistakes), but I don't think it'll be a shanty either.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  10:55:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it will be a shanty.

We shall see what happens.
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  11:23:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
like I said, sign of the times. The downtown ballpark is shaping up to be deficient in many areas as well.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  12:43:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Included in the $140 million budget for the downtown stadium is about $13 million to pay off the debt at Rosenblatt. So really, downtown is probably closer to $125 million. But I really think you've got to question just what Sarpy County is going to be able to build for $20 million. There were some studies of other 7,000 seat ballparks that have been build lately, and all were $40 to $50 million...plus land costs. The Royals pointed out an $18 million stadium that was built...but it was 25% smaller at 4500 seats.

I mean, when the Royals first proposed their ballparks, they were using $50 million as the base. I get the feeling that Sarpy County is building the MAC of ballparks...or maybe the Sullivan Stadium of baseball.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  12:51:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This might be the Don Roddy Field of ballparks
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  3:27:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I remember the city of Omaha actually throwing around the $50 million amount for the DT stadium which included the movable seat option. When the Royals first spoke of $50 that was for DT as well and did include land costs.

A lot of times when you here about stadium costs a part of it is the cost of land. This will be crucial to Sarpy. Also you keep putting $20 million, the OWH references $26 million.

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10590105

I have no idea what a $26 million stadium looks like it will be interesting when the details come out. I do know my favorite place I've ever watched a game was in Surprise Stadium in Arizona and it didn't seem to be overflowing with amenties but was a great ballpark.

Greg
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  4:40:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
$26 million is supposed to be $20 million for the stadium itself and up to $6 million for the purchase of land.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2009 :  07:01:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sarpy County takes a high-hard brushback pitch
quote:
In baseball parlance, however, the county was knocked down by a brushback pitch.

Lawmakers and representatives from Omaha, Gretna, Papillion and La Vista roundly criticized the legislation. They questioned whether state money should be used to help build a second baseball stadium in the Omaha area.

They said a Sarpy County ballpark had the potential to stifle development of suburban cities.

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10590974

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2009 :  09:15:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is probably going to go exactly the way that I thought it would. the representatives from Douglas and Sarpy will fight this thing out in the unicameral. It will get contentious and ugly enough that the representatives from the rest of the state will vote no on all of these simply because it doesn't appear that Sarpy has it's house in order.

There are certainly a few important people on the eastern side of the state who stand to lose some serious money if the sarpy stadium ever breaks ground.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2009 :  11:51:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If your name is on it...building a 150 million dollar ballpark downtown that sits empty 50 weeks a year is probably not a good way to get elected.

The Royals have about 40 years worth of clout they're finally throwing around. Gotta believe they'll take this to the very end, no matter where it leads them. They hold all the cards (for the most part), because nobody wants that downtown park to be the complete and total failure it could be. (if sarpy is built)
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2009 :  12:20:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
totally agree AJ especially with what you said about the Royals.

I know this was about the worst point in their franchise history for them to be negotiating from a position of strength, but it puzzles me that there are so many people in this community that don't care at all about a 40+ year community entity up and leaving. It seems kind of small thinking.

I know the NCAA runs the show in terms of sports in this area, but this is a professional almost major league level team that may leave. I don't take that lightly and most people know in their hearts that it can't be replaced here by some weekend warriors pretending to be ballplayers in the American Association.

I was never against a stadium downtown for the CWS as long as it could work for the Royals too. It probably could, but there has been a general inability or unwillingness to even address the real issues let alone come to a workable solution. It's just too many people puffing out their chests and playing hardball presumably for their own egos, but to the city's detriment.
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mrkaline
Mav Scout in Indiana

Poland
1475 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2009 :  2:51:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Like most things involving local governments, this should have been addressed years ago. You could see what the NCAA was forcing Omaha to do when they kept saying expand this, build that, etc. at the Blatt. Now that everybody is under the gun with the Royals, seems like people are unprepared and scrambling around like country bumpkins.
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2009 :  6:48:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Alan Stein was on 590 this afternoon. I didn't catch all of it, but from what I did hear, he said that the project is not totally dependant on the 3 pieces of legislation before the unicameral. He said that they have other options on the table and it wouldn't surprise him if all 3 of those pieces fail. He also stated that he felt that some of the negative quotes coming from omaha politicians this week about the stadium were due to Omaha politicians feeling the need to protect their investment; however, he said he feels that this is no threat to them. He said that those who are worried about the stadium sitting empty 50 weeks a year should look at it differently. He said that if it doesn't happen in Sarpy that he's fairly confident that the Royals will leave and that the stadium will still be empty. So, the Sarpy stadium, in his opionion really has no effect on what's going on in Omaha because either way the DT stadium will be without the Royals.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  11:56:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MECA speaks up:
quote:
Shortly after taking control of the Omaha baseball stadium, MECA offered the Royals an opportunity to play at a break-even cost to MECA and the city.

The Royals were not asked to pay any construction costs of the new downtown stadium, only the per-game operating costs of the facility. The Royals would have kept ticket revenue, advertising revenue and profits from concessions.

While we understand that Stein would prefer a much smaller stadium that gives the Royals full control of all revenue streams and scheduling of games, this could not be accommodated in the downtown stadium.

MECA has always been and remains willing to work with the Royals within these constraints. However, we cannot jeopardize the obligations our city has to the College World Series, nor do we think it appropriate to subsidize a for-profit operation like the Royals.

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=3952&u_sid=10597661

So MECA disputes the idea that they want to make money on the Royals, and that the Royals wouldn't have the advertising and concession revenue from the downtown ballpark. It's not clear whether the Royals would have the ability to customize concessions as they'd like. (For example, a "Thirsty Thursday" promotion with discounted beer and pop prices.)

Interesting that parking wasn't part of the MECA statement. I think the issue with parking wasn't the idea of charging for parking, or the amount (since most other AAA ballparks apparently charge $5 or $6 just like MECA), but really the issue was who gets the revenue. It's an interesting debate on those evenings when there is a ballgame and a concert going on simultaneously downtown.

And frankly, as this thing has developed, I've become more and more convinced that the Royals never really showed much interest downtown after the stadium deal was finalized since they were already well into discussions with Sarpy County at that point.

It's also interesting to note that the MECA letter doesn't mention independent league baseball as well.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  12:37:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As I've always said, there's the Royals side and the MECA side and somewhere in between is the truth.

I agree with those that say that it was never going to be about playing downtown. Even with their "sweetheart" deal, the Royals have said for the better part of the last decade that Rosenblatt doesn't fit their long term needs or goals and they need a new "intimate" minor league baseball stadium. Whether or not you agree with the Royals on that, you have to admit that has been the statement and plan. They haven't deviated from that one bit. That's why Stein says this deal with Sarpy is more about whether or not the royals play in omaha as opposed to whether or not the downtown stadium has a tennant.

We'll see where it goes from here. It reminds me that we haven't heard any Sarpy news in a couple of weeks. I wonder if anything is up since MECA is now sending out letters like this. Is this a last ditch effort to negotiate with the Royals through the media?
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  1:23:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's because the Sarpy County legislation appears to be DOA in the legislature due to infighting in Sarpy County.

quote:
Joking aside, the fate of Sarpy County's ballpark bills might look brighter today had the elected officials shown a united front.

Instead, Sarpy County's chief negotiator, Kermit Brashear, spoke in favor of the bills, while officials from four Sarpy County cities spoke against.

"Seems like communications have somewhat broken down," County Board member Rich Jansen said afterward. "We've done a lot for them lately, then all of a sudden they just kind of turned against us."

Actually, the two sides have wrangled for years over annexation and development issues.

A few years ago, when Sarpy County sought tax incentives for developing rural land, cities opposed it. This year, when cities floated a bill seeking more power to annex and control land in their growth paths, Sarpy County opposed it. Meanwhile, the county pushed its own bill seeking ordinance power like cities have.

At this month's hearing, Lynn Rex, executive director of the League of Nebraska Municipalities, said that in her 30 years watching government she's not come across another county "that has done everything it could do to stop cities from growing."Joking aside, the fate of Sarpy County's ballpark bills might look brighter today had the elected officials shown a united front.

Instead, Sarpy County's chief negotiator, Kermit Brashear, spoke in favor of the bills, while officials from four Sarpy County cities spoke against.

"Seems like communications have somewhat broken down," County Board member Rich Jansen said afterward. "We've done a lot for them lately, then all of a sudden they just kind of turned against us."

Actually, the two sides have wrangled for years over annexation and development issues.

A few years ago, when Sarpy County sought tax incentives for developing rural land, cities opposed it. This year, when cities floated a bill seeking more power to annex and control land in their growth paths, Sarpy County opposed it. Meanwhile, the county pushed its own bill seeking ordinance power like cities have.

At this month's hearing, Lynn Rex, executive director of the League of Nebraska Municipalities, said that in her 30 years watching government she's not come across another county "that has done everything it could do to stop cities from growing."

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10597756



Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2009 :  4:25:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well, then Stein better be right in saying that Sarpy has a plan B, and it better be a workable plan B, or else Sarpy county is going to look truly foolish in all of this. The Royals will be fine one way or another because they will get a place to play someplace (downtown omaha, sugarland texas, etc.) while Sarpy is left with nothing but a wasted half a million dollars.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2009 :  08:25:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not really sure the article in Sunday's paper told us anything we did not already know. I don't think anything has changed as far as probability of where they end up in the last week too.

Greg
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2009 :  09:21:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a article from today's paper:

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10598334
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tjelf
Bunner, man

2055 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2009 :  09:27:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Letter from the MECA board regarding the stadium and negotiations with the Royals, in Sunday's opinion page:

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=3952&u_sid=10597661

Interesting.



Who are you who can summon fire with neither flint nor tinder?
There are some who call me.....Tim?
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2009 :  12:46:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greg S

I'm not really sure the article in Sunday's paper told us anything we did not already know. I don't think anything has changed as far as probability of where they end up in the last week too.

Greg


It doesn't really...but I don't think a lot of people paid attention to that legislative hearing two weeks ago. Everybody heard the preliminary agreement between the County Board and the Royals, and assumed "Done!"

And you know what...it looks even less likely now than it ever has.

It's interesting that MECA opened up the dialog again. That was done for a reason here. Look for this to jump into the Omaha Mayoral race in the next few weeks, though it may need to wait for the Unicameral to have time to officially shoot down LB 615-618.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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