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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2009 :  6:17:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nousefouraname

i agree with everything that greg s says. It's not a perfect site by any means, but to call it an "epic fail" is kind of shortsighted.

I consider the downtown stadium that will now sit empty for 50 weeks a year (unless you count private school baseball that normally draws 500 people or the beer league baseball that is the AA) to be more of a failure.


How many visitors come to Omaha for the College World Series? The downtown stadium was a no brainer.

As for why the 370 location is an "Epic Fail" for the Royals: "River City Lancers"

The perception was that the Lancers abandoned Omaha. I think people will get that same impression as they drive down highway 50 and everybody in the car wonders "are we there YET?"

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

2307 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  01:12:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
perception for most is that bellevue, papillion, la vista, etc. are still part of Omaha. The other funky thing about Omahans is that to them, as long as you're west of the missouri and haven't hit nothing but cornfields, you're still in Omaha. Council Bluffs is like another planet to them. So, I don't believe that the River City Lancers analogy fits here in the least. They will certainly lose some of the northeast and south omaha people. However, I agree that they will pick up the amount that they need from sarpy residents and west omaha people.

We'll see how much of a no brainer the downtown stadium is when the people of omaha are paying for it. most people don't get their annual CWS checks in the mail. I firmly believe it's going to end up costing much more than Fahey says. The original budget and plans had it being built on the cheap just to get it through city council. Now that shovels have hit dirt, Omaha is stuck with it and I think they are going to find the bill to be heftier than anyone expected.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  11:11:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Lancers moved away from a great deal of their fan base. I think the Royals are moving towards it. The potential for them in SW Omaha/Sarpy County represents the best demographic for them. River City Lancers lost out because they moved to another state and other than gambling, Omahans seem to hate going to CB for anything.

Greg
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  2:28:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greg S

The Lancers moved away from a great deal of their fan base. I think the Royals are moving towards it. The potential for them in SW Omaha/Sarpy County represents the best demographic for them. River City Lancers lost out because they moved to another state and other than gambling, Omahans seem to hate going to CB for anything.

Greg


Their demographic is cattle? This stadium is not in southwest Omaha; there are parts of southwest Omaha closer to downtown than the farm where the stadium is going. Bellevue too, which is the population center of Sarpy County.

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

2307 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  2:45:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
still believe that perception of average Northwest and Southwest Omaha baseball fan will come off as downtown omaha = too far and too dangerous to waste their time with for minor league baseball (we'll see if the Beer League Baseball comes to downtown). While the Sarpy location is fairly remote right now, they haven't put themselves in a position where they are trying to fill a 20,000 seat stadium. They've set the bar rather low at 6k permanent and 9k SRO. It shouldn't be that hard to accomplish even with just papillion, La Vista, and Millard people.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  3:27:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's near SW Omaha....

That area of town is still growing. Omaha is growing to the SW. Gretna is coming down 370. Sarpy is also developing along 370. It's really easy to get to that area from Bellevue as well. Bellevue may have the largest population, but it is on the eastern end of Sarpy. It was even mentioned in today's paper how it's only 4 miles from Shadow Lake.

Greg
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  3:36:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
not to mention that bellevue is boxed in by the river and can only grow to the south for the most part. Also, many areas of eastern and northeastern bellevue have been fading for years.
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NikiFan
Master of Distraction

296 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  8:44:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh my goodness. I am so tired of hearing about how so far "out" this location is and how nobody lives there. Are you kidding me? I have lived in Papillion since 1988 and all this area has done is GROW and it is STILL growing. I think this will develop into a fantastic place for not only families but singles as well. This area has been so starved of new business opportunities that it really has only been the last year to year and a half that businesses have started filling that, mainly due to the City of Papillion itself. Finally we are getting the shopping centers and restaurants to support the population, and not to mention that I don't believe that it was Omaha, LaVista or Bellevue that was ranked as one of the top places in the nation to live. Since I live off 370 now and drive both east and west of 84th frequently, I think this has the potential to be a fantastic set-up with easy access from all parts of Omaha and the entire Metro area.

That's it, that's my opinion and all I'm gonna say on the matter. I could start quoting a bunch of numbers including household size, house valuations and median incomes but I have no interest in arguing over this because I think it will be proven as the right choice down the road. I'm just tired of the bashing on an area some of you have obviously not spent any real amount of time in.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2009 :  10:28:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Let me clarify my position. My issue isn't developing 126th & Highway 370; Papillion is growing west, and the Millard area is growing southward. Development of that area is happening.

My point is that it's a horrible spot for the Royals to go if they want to draw from the entire metropolitan area. When there were rumors of the stadium being located in "west Omaha", people justified the move by saying that it was "too far" for people to drive back downtown.

Then the ballpark ends up nearly as far south as downtown is east. For certain audiences: Papillion, Gretna, Elkhorn, and old Millard, it is closer. But for the other 80% of the metro area...nope.

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

4101 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  10:17:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't think anyone thinks this is a central location for the metro. None of them were, the 3 Sarpy sites, Rosenblatt or DT. I do think it's a good site for Sarpy County and SW Omaha. For me in NW Omaha it's fine. One of my best friends lives right off of 370 and I 80 and it's easy to get from a variety of ways (I live north of Fort off of 156th).

Greg
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  11:27:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nousefouraname
I consider the downtown stadium that will now sit empty for 50 weeks a year (unless you count private school baseball that normally draws 500 people or the beer league baseball that is the AA) to be more of a failure.



DING DING DING

Why is there not more outrage about this? 330 days empty...ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS.

This boils down to being the fault of one Roger Dixon. Period.

You can't really blame Stein for using what little pull he had to get a better deal in Papillion..where he can b*tch and moan about not having a big enough park a few years after it opens. (And he will..if he even owns the team by then.) YOu can't really blame Fahey, because all he was doing was saving his a$s as not being known as "the mayor who lost the CWS".

This falls SQUARELY on Roger Dixon and his massive ego. Several years of pulling in Billy Joel concnets has given this a$$clown way more power than he deserves. I mean seriously..did we just drop nearly 1/5 of a BILLION dollars into a stadium that is going to be EMPTY NEARLY ALL YEAR!?!?

Oh, but thank goodness we have our ESPN love fest going on, so 26,000 basic cable subscribers can see what cool people we are. Hell, CWS attendance is DOWN, and in this economy you're going to mortgage the city so you can get on TV? I hate to tell you this...but Tyra Banks has her own show too...and she's on all year long. This isn't the late 80's where nothing else is on, and Omaha is "showcased" with a captured cable audience. There are 3 billion channels out there, can college baseball isn't going to crack the mainstream anytime soon.

People need to stop worrying about the Royals and realize what a ridiculous and pathetic waste of money this is. I was and still am for the downtown park...but stupid me...I figured Roger's ego could forgo 6 bucks to park. Apparently not.

Talk about an epic fail.


Oh and Kaline PS - ...yes. It's RI-DAMN-DICULOUS that librairies and pools have to close so that we can keep the stupid F'ing CWS in town. My kids use both of those services on a weekly basis, but have never stepped foot at Ping-fest on 13th street.

People have lost their minds.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  11:32:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by West O Mike

My point is that it's a horrible spot for the Royals to go if they want to draw from the entire metropolitan area.


Mike, with a stadium as small as they're building..they could set up shop near Plattsmouth High School and pack the place.

6,000 seats is a joke and a pathetic one at that.

By moving into a high school-type field of that size..they will have a park 33% smaller than the smallest park in all of AAA baseball. Hell, the Salt Dogs employ a bunch of ditchdiggers and college never-were's....and they have a stadium nearly that big.

http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/aaaballparks.htm
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  12:40:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There's a lot to the Sarpy/Royals/370 deal that I still have questions over. How is it going to be paid for? The paper tried to answer some, but I ended up with more questions.

The paper said the Royals were going to contribute $16 million over 25 years. When the deal was announced, it was $12 million over 25 years. Did Stein open his wallet to keep this deal from falling through, or what happened?

How is Sarpy County going to build a 6000 seat stadium for $25 million when other 6000 seat ballparks start at $40 million, plus land acquisition and site prep charges? I mean, a jumbotron alone costs $1 million.

How much more will tickets be in a 6000 seat stadium to justify Stein's investment in the boonies?

If the stadium turns out to be a success, who pays for the expansion to bring it up to PCL standards? If the stadium turns out to be the "MAC Southwest"...who's holding the bag?

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

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  1:10:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've spoken with a few people who know how these things work better than I....and I think it's safe to say the Royals are putting their best face on to make this look like a really great deal. However, that much money for any park worthy of AAA baseball is going to raise some eyebrows around the league. In fact, they're not even getting a Wal-Mart quality ballpark out of this mess...more like Pamida.

Stein is playing chicken with MECA, and willing to run off the road to try and save it. If the whole thing goes OAKs on everybody, he'll bolt town faster than you can say AHL and Sarpy county will be left with a really really really nice legion ballpark for Papillion South to play in.

The leaders in this town have done a lot of things right over the years...the Qwest and downtown development were key to getting away from the rotting corpse that is/was the Cvic. However, this destroys pretty much any shred of goodwill and sucess they've had up til now.

Roger needs to suck up his pride, and tell Stein they'll make concessions for them and end this whole pathetic charade.
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  1:24:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would hope that the stadium plans will be made with expansion in mine so that if and when the Royals realize that 6k (9k with berm seating) is inadequate, they can fairly easily add more permanent seating (at the Royals own cost). If and when they come to that realization, it may almost be a good problem to have. It will show that the whole project is working. Honestly, I look forward to that day.

At this point, I don't see this as a game of chicken anymore. It may have started out as that; however, now the Royals are married to Sarpy County for better or worse. They've gone far enough down this road that you aren't going to suddenly see the royals backtrack into the downtown stadium after a quick phone call and some concessions from Omaha.

Stein, true to his word, has always said that there really weren't enough concessions that could be made to get them down there. It's looking more and more like that wasn't a bluff. At the end of the day, everyone needs to realize that the downtown ballpark is NOT a AAA ballpark in the way that the rest of the country defines one. It bears no resemblance to PCL ballparks in Memphis, Oklahoma City, Des Moines, etc. It was like pounding a square peg into a round hole from day one.

So, when I have to pick the difference between ponying up to keep them in my county or losing them to texas. You better believe I'm all for it. I have no interest in adult recreation baseball in the downtown ballpark (or whatever it is they call this independent league nonsense).

This is not a perfect solution, but I am very happy today.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  5:18:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think a major major issue was the Royals wanted no part of dealing with MECA, and who can blame them.

Even if MECA bent the Royals would still not be getting what their counter parts got unless MECA caved royally (pun intended). Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe neither Creighton or UNO get any concessions whatsoever and nothing from parking either. Even if MECA kept only half of the concessions, wouldn't that be worse than what most minor league teams get (and they don't get booted during the prime month of June for 3 weeks). Also the Royals would have no say on who the concessionaires are. Can anybody come up with a few teams in the minor leagues that have to deal and share with a entity like MECA?

Finally what are the features in the DT stadium that were designed with minor league baseball in mind??? Crickets chirpping....

I'm going to wait and see what the designs for the Sarpy stadium look like before I start making comparisions to other arenas or stadiums.

Again, my first choice for sites was DT (where I think all Omaha teams should play including UNO hockey) but in the end as long as they stay any where in the Metro that's most important to me.

Greg
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  07:00:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greg S

Finally what are the features in the DT stadium that were designed with minor league baseball in mind??? Crickets chirpping....

Well, open concourses and a plaza in the outfield. Granted that's not much, but since neither MECA nor the Royals negotiated seriously (from my perspective anyway), I don't think that there ever were any specifications or requests for the stadium designers to meet.

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

4101 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  09:14:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The stadium downtown was built specifically for and in mind only for the CWS. I think it's great that Omaha has locked in for 25 years.

The only issue I've had DT is that nothing was done in the planning/design of this stadium to make it attractive for either the Royals or Creighton. When first announced it seemed so perfect. The CWS, the Royals and even Creighton. It's still fine with CWS only and possibly Creighton, just not a home run like it was before. If we get the indy league in there, they will make the Knights look like a success in comparision.

Greg
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  09:25:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the only things that I remember as being mentioned specifically for the Royals was the option of additional office space and locker rooms that they wouldn't have to vacate when the CWS was in town. However, they were told that if they wanted that, the cost would be on them. Everything else seemed like it was pretty much in place and non-negotiable from the start.

Of course, the things the Royals wanted weren't going to be conceded anyway (i.e. total control of ad placements and revenue inside the ballpark, 6,000-10,000 seats, and control of parking)

Open concourses and outfield plazas are nice and conducive to the minor league game, but they were still designed with the CWS in mind. The Royals were still secondary or even a non-factor in all of that.
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  09:52:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did find the territorial divisiveness of the vote yesterday to be interesting. Just based off where the members of the board are from the vote went...

YES: Papillion, Papillion, Gretna
NO: Bellevue, Bellevue

They can talk all they want about all of the factors that led them to Papillion and there is a degree of truth and logic behind most of them; however, you can't tell me that when the decision finally came to pick 126th and 370 that those involved didn't realize that it was almost halfway between papillion and Gretna, realize how the board was aligned, and smile a little bit on the inside.

This is some true politics at work here as well. slightly slimy, but effective. Think of it as each board member wanting the credit of bringing the big catch back to his or her constituents.

Don't doubt for a second that if the Bellevue site was picked that the vote would have gone 3-2 the other way.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  10:30:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wait...

So you're saying Downtown's new stadium ISN'T fit for AAA baseball, but a cheap and tiny bandbox in Papillion WILL? Sure, I guess the Royals will have lots of room for Dizzy bat races and such...but how are they going to keep the kids from running under the bleachers? I assume they're going to be aluminum...considering the price tag of the place. Let's hope they don't rip them out of some aging park somewhere in town and just throw them in there to boot.

In all seriousness, people are making all these assumptions...while not realizing just how bare bones cheap a 26 million dollar park really is. That would be fine for an Independent league..like Lincoln or how Sherman Field used to be in teh 40's. However, you're talking TRIPLE A baseball. 85% of these guys have either been in the major leagues, or will spend at least some time there.

You can't just flaten out some land, throw up some lights (I assume they'll be lights) and call it good. Roger Dixon and David Sokol are still the villans in all this, but Stein is definately out of his freaking mind if he thinks they can pull this off for THAT little amount of money.

In teh meantime, I don't care if you have to move out of the locker rooms or not, the downtown ballpark would be bigger..and more than likely nice (presuming the cost) than any other AAA park in America.

So do you want to eat at Taco Bell? or Omaha Prime?

Apparently Stein likes Chalupas.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  10:40:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love going to DT for sporting events. It's why I'm really against the Mavs moving to central Omaha for hockey.

It's clear though that MECA was not going to make it work for the Royals. Yes, I think they are fine with that stadium. I will hold judgement until I see the final design. And since I take my 2 and 4 year old sons to games, we are more likely to go to Taco Bell than Omaha Prime before a Saturday night game....

Greg
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  10:59:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, but you could go to Omaha Prime at NO EXTRA COST! (ie - that stadium is already being built)


PS - Here is a somewhat comparable stadium, that actually isn't too bad. (Although not AAA quality IMO) Springfield Mo's new AA park was built 6 years or so ago and cost 32 million back then. Granted, it seats 7900+ (Papio Fun Park will seat 5600-6000 apparenly), but you get the idea. So it would not be QUITE as nice as this...but apparently they do have actual seats and even lights.

http://springfield.cardinals.milb.com/ballpark/page.jsp?ymd=20081124&content_id=482678&vkey=ballpark_t440&fext=.jsp&sid=t440
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  11:24:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If it's anywhere near what Haymarket is like, I will be more than fine with it.

Watching a game at Haymarket (besides the level of talent on the field) blows away watching a game at Rosenblatt. Rosenblatt is a sea of empty seats seperating pockets of people. It kills the atmosphere for me. I'm afraid it would be exactly the same, but nicer, at the downtown ballpark.
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buetane
All-Star Mav

Iceland
2568 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  11:31:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kinda like UNO games....pockets of people, and killing the atmosphere for me.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  12:28:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We can all argue til we're blue in the face. The fact still remains a $140,000,000ish stadium is going to sit empty 330 days a year in an area of downtown Omaha that was/is ripe for development. I'm all for Sarpy County getting the Royals...whatever works...I don't think it will, but more power to them.

But the Complete and total disaster that is shaping up downtown is the far bigger story IMO.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  12:53:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think if the downtown stadium had been designed with an upper deck that could easily be closed off for the Royals games, you'd have a stadium with about 9k permanent seating and bleachers in the outfield. Make it an overhanging upper deck, and you'd lose much of the concern about a lack of intimacy. It wouldn't be like Rosenblatt, where all the seating is on one level.

Most other 6k/7k ballparks that have been built or are being built are running double what Sarpy County's budget. The alleged blueprint for the Sarpy ballpark is a 5000 seat stadium that cost $20 million a few years ago. So corners are going to be cut on this thing.

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

2307 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  1:04:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well, they claim that the current economic situation will help that. I can't say if that's true or not, I just know that's what they've said. Their claim is that less construction = more workers sitting around hoping for work and that means that less demand=lower costs. I don't know the industry, but it seems logical that if a stadium this size cost $40 million to build a few years ago that it would cost less right now. Oil certainly costs less than it has over the last few years right now.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  2:14:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Everything is cheaper in construction right now except possibly lumber. There are great deals if you can build now. You will get more experienced crews and the like. They also got free land. Again, until I see the designs I'm going to hold judgement.

Greg
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MavEconomist
Junior Mav

Tonga
585 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2009 :  3:25:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure what they mean by less construction, at least at the scale of a stadium. There are fewer homes being built, but those folks aren't the ones that would do this kind of project anyway. The firms that would be called upon to build a stadium in Sarpy are the ones currently busy with BCBS's building, UNO's Mammel Hall, and other major works in Aksarben; the various projects at the Mutual development in Midtown; and the DT CWS stadium and related projects. And I'm sure there are others. Right now, they don't seem to be experiencing the same kind of downturn.

However, those are just on appearances. But, I wouldn't count on construction costs for the Sarpy stadium being lower than a few years ago.

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res ipsa loquitur
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