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MetroFan
Freshman Mav

212 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2011 :  5:31:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Scott and Buffett gave blessings to whatever business decision needed to be made. The whole process was just weeks away from not having Triple-A baseball...that was mid to late-summer 2008.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2011 :  10:09:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJMav

But rest assured...at NO time did ANYBODY in Omaha...not Fehey, not MECA, not Hal Daub's cleaning lady...even sit down with the Royals to get their input on the stadium, how it's run or what goes on inside of it.


Bzzzzt. In fact, it's right here, on page 6 of this very thread...

http://www.mavpuck.com/mpboard/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4455&whichpage=6

quote:
Originally posted by adammd

quote:
Originally posted by West O Mike

Well, Fahey realizes that he's losing the PR battle, so he's trying a committee to help hammer out the details:

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10154531

quote:
The proposed downtown ballpark will get a fresh look from a committee of prominent Omahans in an effort by Mayor Mike Fahey to head off further controversy.

Ken Stinson, chairman of Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc., was named to head the committee "to take a fresh and unbiased view of all alternatives," Fahey said.

Fahey said he is searching for a consensus on an issue that has become one of the most contentious of his more than six years in office.


Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com



And further down in the article you get to see who the rest of the "fresh and un-biased" group members are.

CU athletic director - un-biased? CU likely will end up playing there.

Sokol (MECA chairman) - Uh, MECA already said they don't want lot D used?????

O Royals president - Again, how is this unbiased

CWS of Omaha Inc - Not sure where is bias is, but most likely has one

Mike McCarthy & Sue Morris, fundraisers - sweet, two potentially un-biased people besides the chairman.

This is about as biased as you can get. MECA, CU, CWS Inc, and the O Royals president will be looking out for their interests first. While their interests may not all be the same, they are certainly agenda driven and not in the best interest of the public as a whole.




I understand all of your points. The Royals weren't interested in leaving town for 2 1/2 weeks. Very true, and that's the only point that holds.

MECA not willing to share parking revenue is true...but again, that position was never tested. Remember that Hal Daub (who was on the MECA board when much of those statements were made) campaigned for mayor on the promise to get the Royals downtown. His biggest campaign supporter? David Sokol.

Something could have been worked out.

As for the "1/2 price hot dog night" ... I remember a couple of $1 hot dogs and beer nights at UNO games this past season.

Something could have been worked out.

If you are saying that MECA screwed the pooch here, absolutely. They wanted to make life hard on Mike Fahey, and did everything in their power to make this thing fail. Then, when they realized it was going to happen, they came on board...but by then, Sarpy County had entered the picture, and any chance to bring the Royals back on board was out the door.

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

4101 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2011 :  08:22:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MECA has been pretty adamant about not cutting deals on parking. I remember the first time we tried to get state wrestling. Roger Dixon stated they could not cut a deal on parking because then it would open the door to other events wanting a deal on parking. We did not get it that year. The only reason we did was because of the congestion on the floor of Devaney.

Greg
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2011 :  08:59:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't think MECA really can cut deals on parking. They don't even keep the parking revenue themselves. The city takes all of that money, as I recall. So, it's not really their money to cut a deal with. If they do, they'd be paying the city back for lost revenue on the back end.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2011 :  10:12:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Actually I think they can. They were the ones that had the authority to raise the prices. I don't think there is much if anything at Qwest that the city has control of:

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100610/NEWS01/706109804/0
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2011 :  10:39:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was a little off, but still close.

The city of Omaha takes 70% of parking revenue. I thought they took it all.

http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/96020634.html

MECA controls the the upkeep and collects the money for the lots. From the article you linked, they set the pricing too. Still, if the city takes 70% of the revenue, I can't imagine that MECA can start giving away parking or lower the rates without an explicit OK from those in charge with the city.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2011 :  12:28:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the city would have been fine with discounted parking because of the 70 plus dates of parking the Chasers would have given them. Plus that would have given them more people down there to spur more development than the marginal development that can be attributed to the stadium now without them.

Greg
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2011 :  2:54:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From the Rob White Chat today on omaha.com

Rob White: Werner Park is cool. It should be a fantastic place to watch a game. Plus, if the game getting a little boring, you can take a stroll around the place, not miss a pitch, and find something else to do. I think it would be pretty cool to walk out to center field and watch relievers warm up late in the game. You can stand right above them and watch.

I think the Chasers (it takes a lot of getting used to) will actually have a home field advantage. 5,500 people in a park with 6,500 seats creates a lot more energy than having 5,500 people in a park that seats 25,000. In baseball, particularly late in close games, the crowd can affect what happens on the field. At Rosenblatt, a lot of the games had the feel of routine intrasquad games.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  08:30:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by West O Mike

Bzzzzt. In fact, it's right here, on page 6 of this very thread...



How is "O Royals" president (who isn't even named) in page 6 of a college hockey message board proof that the guy was there? That's brutally weak, even for you.

By saying, "They could have worked it out", you're assuming a) That Dixon has a soul and cares about the city and b) That Stein cares a lot about a city he doesn't even live in. THat's quite a tall order for somebody to think this could have been hammered out. Again, if Roger Dixon wasn't the spawn of Satan and had the Royals been owned by LOCAL owners...things COULD have worked out differently.

That's like having your girlfriend date Harrison Ford a week after you dump her. Are you going to get mad at Harrison Ford because you weren't happy? How does he even fit into this situation? In this case, Sarpy County was simply there to pick up the pieces when things looked like (and most likely were) breaking down. They had the land and the drive to get it done and got it done. Problem solved. Unless of course you're a true baseball fan in this town, or wanted NoDo to be something cool.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  08:46:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah I did not follow Mike on that one either?

Greg
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  1:04:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJMav

quote:
Originally posted by West O Mike

Bzzzzt. In fact, it's right here, on page 6 of this very thread...



How is "O Royals" president (who isn't even named) in page 6 of a college hockey message board proof that the guy was there? That's brutally weak, even for you.



Well, since the World-Herald has redid their site, 3 year old stories aren't available online anymore. So if you want to prove me wrong, head down to the UNO library and find the story yourself. I think with as much attention as this thread got, if that reference to that story was wrong, someone would have corrected it.

Bottom line is that there was a committee formed during the planning phase that included the NCAA, civic leaders, and Alan Stein to discuss the new ball park. The post I referenced above discusses that committee. You said nobody talked to the Royals to get their input, and that's clearly false.

But since you want more proof, fine. Google has several more references:
http://omahariverfront.com/articles2008/20080126_staidumsites.htm
http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/16053997.html
Here's the kicker here...
quote:
While nothing is set in stone, the committee believes both Creighton and the Omaha Royals will use the stadium 100 times a year.

"We will have no problem paying our part," says Rasmussen.

"This is clearly the best decision for the city of Omaha," says Royals team president Alan Stein.

Oh, and that story was dated 2/28/2008..the same approximate time that Stein was beginning to talk to Sarpy County.

quote:
Originally posted by AJMav

In this case, Sarpy County was simply there to pick up the pieces when things looked like (and most likely were) breaking down.

So...
Stein is on the committee, and the committee says that the Royals will likely play at Ameritrade. That's when you said the talks were breaking down?

The talks broke down between the Royals and MECA because Sarpy gave Stein a better offer. A sweetheart offer, I maintain. MECA's footdragging over where to build this and other obstruction certainly didn't help, and MECA probably could have been more realistic in their subsequent negotiations with the Royals, but it likely didn't matter. Sarpy County played Santa Claus to the Royals --- long before playing downtown was ruled out.

And don't get me wrong: Stein is a businessman, and he has the right to seek out the best deal. He's not accountable to us.

But Sarpy County rushed in to "save" something that even Stein admitted didn't need "saving" at that point.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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MetroFan
Freshman Mav

212 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  1:20:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike, you are so wrong on this I can't tell you. A million miles off. Your credibility with me is beginning to go by the wayside a bit. Trust me when I tell you that you are off base.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  1:38:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MetroFan

Mike, you are so wrong on this I can't tell you. A million miles off. Your credibility with me is beginning to go by the wayside a bit. Trust me when I tell you that you are off base.


Sounds like you have inside knowledge that contradicts what I know. That's fine. I may be wrong, or may have been mislead. Please elaborate.

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

4101 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  3:04:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I remember an interview I believe on one of the local TV stations. I remember Alan Stein saying he was helping on the committee to make things work with the NCAA, MECA and the Mayor's office. I thought he clearly stated that he was not representing the Royals interest but Omaha's because he knew how important the CWS was to the community.

Greg
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buetane
All-Star Mav

Iceland
2568 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  3:17:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I enjoy reading this thread. I don't necessarily have much to offer since I don't know anyone (like everyone else seems to) and I don't have the roll call of who was at this meeting or that meeting and I don't have the time or energy to sift the newspaper for citations to an argument, but I imagine that no one on here is 100% right or 100% wrong. How right or wrong you see that someone probably depends on how you perceive what you read in the papers or what somebody told you. I'm saying "you" generally, no one specific.

But you can't come on here and tell somebody they're a million miles off without saying why. I mean that's a long ways. A million miles? So yeah, I'd like you to elaborate too.
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lynchicemav
Old Sage With Infrequent Posts

193 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  4:16:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anyone see the irony in the Storm Chasers' game being postponed because of the weather? I mean, if they can't play, shouldn't they be out helping R.E.A.C.T.?
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2011 :  5:08:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The weather channel loves this team. They've been broadcasting live from the stadium today. Free national publicity. Forgot to mention when I was in KC at a Royals game a couple weeks ago they had Chaser's shirt and hats for sale in their team store. They seemed to be selling pretty well down there.

Greg
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2011 :  11:18:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike, we can disagree. We do it all the time. No biggie. I have "inside contacts" on things..just as everybody else here pretty much does. Doesn't mean their right all the time...and from time to time, even the best contacts can be wrong. No big deal to me...except for the fact that Tom Osborne is a criminal. But I digress.

If you think Sarpy has some sort of vendetta against Omaha and rushed in to grab the Royals away from Omaha...I can't disprove that at all. Perhaps there is a secret lair somewhere near Platteview where county officials are plotting their next move on how to strike back at the evil metropolis that is Omaha.

However, in this case, I am of the personal opinion that somebody in the county leadership saw the virtual impossible impasse of Roger and Stein agreeing (on anything) and basiaclly came up with the idea that, "maybe we can bring them out here to keep them in the area and spur growth..."? Because in the suburban business...spurring growth and keeping money in the suburbs is the name of the game. Always has been.

To me, the most simple explanation is most likely the correct one. MECA's enormous ego was simply impassable, and I can't see a situation...in 1,000,000 years where they would have compromised with a piddly AAA baseball team. It was doomed from the start IMO, and there really was no other alternative.

Now, if you want to talk about why the Golden Royal Spike Chasers went about building such a SMALL park that is more fitting a spring training facility...that's another story. In the end, everybody got what they wanted..with the exception of NoDo business owners and any Omaha area baseball fan that would love to see growth in that area and a really cool place to hang out during the summertime. Well, a place that would be cooler if not for the dark giant stadium down the block that is 94% of the time.

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mrkaline
Mav Scout in Indiana

Poland
1475 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  08:54:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
AJ, how do you think ESPN will spin the new downtown park? Will they bring up the fact that Omaha basically built a CWS only baseball field? Or, will they ignore that and just show the country what a beautiful facility it is?
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  10:01:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJMav

However, in this case, I am of the personal opinion that somebody in the county leadership saw the virtual impossible impasse of Roger and Stein agreeing (on anything) and basiaclly came up with the idea that, "maybe we can bring them out here to keep them in the area and spur growth..."? Because in the suburban business...spurring growth and keeping money in the suburbs is the name of the game. Always has been.

To me, the most simple explanation is most likely the correct one. MECA's enormous ego was simply impassable, and I can't see a situation...in 1,000,000 years where they would have compromised with a piddly AAA baseball team. It was doomed from the start IMO, and there really was no other alternative.

Now, if you want to talk about why the Golden Royal Spike Chasers went about building such a SMALL park that is more fitting a spring training facility...that's another story. In the end, everybody got what they wanted..with the exception of NoDo business owners and any Omaha area baseball fan that would love to see growth in that area and a really cool place to hang out during the summertime. Well, a place that would be cooler if not for the dark giant stadium down the block that is 94% of the time.




I think you'll be proven wrong about that 94% of the time, unless, of course, you are counting 5 am every morning. But right now, that's prognastication. I can't prove you wrong. Yet.

I think you likely have a point about MECA, but I think it had far less to do with the Golden Royal Spike Chasers (I like that!) than it did with Mike Fahey. Remember, Hal and David Sokol were on the MECA board at the time much of this was going down.

And I actually agree that Sarpy went into this thinking that they could save AAA baseball and spur some growth around BFE. And I think time has shown that they jumped in not knowing what they were getting themselves into. They thought they could do this for $15 million, if I'm to believe the story I got in March 2008. The World-Herald indicates this morning that Sarpy's share is nearly double that at $29 million. And good for them, it sounds like some of the cost overruns (that both you and I predicted) got pushed back onto the GRSC because the County simply couldn't afford to do anything more.

http://omaha.com/article/20110417/NEWS01/704179939#ballparks-ready-to-play-and-pay

You may be absolutely correct that MECA and GRSC would never agree. I fall back to, we'll never know, because those negotiations were never given a chance. I know some people thought Sugar Land, Texas was a real threat as well, but remember, here's what Sugar Land's StarTex Power Field looked like last week.


Maybe someone will point out the other players who were ready to jump in and bid on the GRSC.

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

2307 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  10:50:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
wow. the weather is looking pretty bad for Tuesday now as well. high of 53 and 80% chance of rain. Could put a damper on events at TD Ameritrade as well. dang.
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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  2:22:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ummmm Mike...question for ya...

If the Royals were coming to Texas, don't you think they may have started on that stadium earlier? I mean..just a hunch that not too many communities (other than ours of course), build things without a tenant in hopes that it will fill up. Bottom line...you are so sure the Royals could have stayed....and completely downplay the fact that Stein would have moved the team. Yet you can't come up with a single alternative other than "Stein and Roger should have negotiated."

Stein is from Kentucky and doesn't care about Omaha.
Roger is the spawn of Satan and doesn't care about Omaha.

I'll take this opinion to the grave...there's no way on God's green earth they were going to hammer out a deal anywhere in Omaha. Not then. not now. not ever. Be mad at Sarpy all you want...this is the best option available considering the circumstances involved. (See the Roger = Satan part)

As for the "I'll be proven wrong on the 94%" part. I'll give you Creighton. They are riding Meca's coattails because there is nothing else there. But the Nighthawks? The Phantom Rocks Music festival (that doesn't have a single announced band 90 days out)? Said it once...say it again and again and again...if you think the NCAA is going to let just anyone on that field...I can't help you. There's just no way.

PS - What hole did you pull 15 million out of? Go back on this thread. The estimate for the Sarpy ballpark was always around 20-25 million. (Which I mocked because that was too low). You can try and make a point if you want..but at least get your numbers relatively close. Oh, and nice of you to gloss over the part where MECA spent extra money because they didn't realize that site was a rail yard at one point. Can't make fun of them too much though..at least they put Home plate in almost the right spot.

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AJMav
Minister of Anger

Iran
4503 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  2:26:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tell ya what. Let's play a game.

Starting every single day from Tuesday on...for ONE YEAR...let's count how many days a public event is going on at both parks and see which one gets the most use. If you have some patience, there's an easy way to solve this.

PS - The score is Sarpy 2 - White Elephant Stadium 0 as of 4/17/11.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  2:53:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJMav

PS - What hole did you pull 15 million out of? Go back on this thread. The estimate for the Sarpy ballpark was always around 20-25 million. (Which I mocked because that was too low).

The $15 million was what Sarpy's contribution would be in the early stages of the deal. Heck, I recall Stein once saying something along the lines of "give me $25 million" and I'll take care of the rest.

Sarpy wishes they could have that deal...

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

Iceland
2568 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  3:12:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well that's a dumb game. Sarpy will be the obvious winner considering even if the downtown park gets an indy league team, I'm sure they won't play as many games as the Chasers or even half as many maybe. To be somewhat fair, you should at least wait until 4/19 when both parks are open.

WOM may have glossed over the part where an extra couple million was added to the park's expense, an amount that comprised only about 2% of the total cost of the stadium. Even if you did always say $20-25M was a low estimate, that was the estimate. And it came in at about $36M I thought the article said, an oversight of about 35% and that 35% is based on the $25M number. And the Chasers are going to cover part of that so that's awesome, it really is. But they are going to do it, or at least part of it, by adding a 50 cent surcharge. Surcharge is synonymous with tax. I do concede that property taxes may go up in Douglas County.

I don't know where WOM got a $15M number either. I also don't know how you think $130M equates to a fifth of a billion dollars, which I'm not going to go find on page 22 of this thread but it's somewhere that you said that. Even if you add the remainder of Rosenblatt's payoff, still not close. Don't chuck any rocks in your glass house. Good point about the Texas stadium picture though, I thought the same thing.
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buetane
All-Star Mav

Iceland
2568 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  3:14:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by West O Mike
[brSarpy wishes they could have that deal...



They pretty much got that deal, although Sarpy added $3M to that $25M Stein wanted.
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  5:30:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by buetane

I don't know where WOM got a $15M number either. I also don't know how you think $130M equates to a fifth of a billion dollars, which I'm not going to go find on page 22 of this thread but it's somewhere that you said that. Even if you add the remainder of Rosenblatt's payoff, still not close. Don't chuck any rocks in your glass house. Good point about the Texas stadium picture though, I thought the same thing.


The $15 million number was from a radio report in March 2008. I can forward AJ the e-mail if he needs some verification.

I'll offer AJ a different game. Let's add everybody who will attend an event downtown and compare it to the number of people who'll drive out to BFE. That's somewhat of a silly game, because of course, BFE cost roughly about a 1/3rd of what the downtown ballpark did. But by Tuesday night, it'll be Downtown 25k, BFE Boondoggle 20k. It's going to take a lot of sandlot games and birthday parties to win that one.

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

2307 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  6:17:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Honestly, it really doesn't matter anymore who was talking to who and when and what the original budgets were vs. what they ultimately became. The fact of the matter is both ballparks are here and opening for business. I'm sure some on here will keep a running tally of how many people walk through the turnstiles at each one and how much revenue each generates hoping for one to win and one to lose, but I'm not getting involved in that game. I want to see both of them succeed.

I don't want to see either community having to turn to their taxpayers with their hats in their hands because one of these projects turns out to be a failure. I'm sure some would derive some giddy joy out of that, and you know who you are. I'll use both ballparks (Sarpy much more than downtown, but whatever). I don't see a point in bickering much more about it and wanting to see one of them fail.

Sure, each one may make some decisions going forward that I won't agree with like the prospect of beer league baseball downtown, and I'll probably complain about some of that. Still, it's just not healthy to the city to keep playing this adversarial "I live in Omaha, so I hope Sarpy fails" or "Stick it to Omaha, I hope this place tanks," game. We are all one city and ultimately, if something is bad for Omaha it's bad for Sarpy and vice versa.

People should be happy. We kept AAA baseball in this city (which for a town that seems to want to pride itself on not being a cow town, I don't see how losing a 40 year tenant in pro sports could have ever been spun as a good thing) and we got to keep the CWS. Let's just enjoy some baseball. I thoroughly enjoyed my first two trips to Werner Park and expect that I'm going to love TD as well.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2011 :  6:51:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah that $15 million was not in the conversation for long. It may have been mentioned briefly on radio but it was not long because I don't remember it and I've followed this closely.

Sarpy got a great deal on this considering what it cost to build and how nice of a facility it turned out to be.

Not only do they have the Chaser's there for 70 plus dates, you throw in the high school games, now the different local colleges, and concerts. Definitely getting serious use.

Greg
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MetroFan
Freshman Mav

212 Posts

Posted - 04/18/2011 :  09:17:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, and if you want to just use all media reports and articles on pricing, the orginal price tage thrown out for the downtown ballpark was $50MM. Just a reminder that the price is a little more than $50MM. That was from the first Sunday in May 2007 in the OWH.
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