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RFP - 201 Market

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6 hours ago, scottythe1nonly said:

I hear only second hand info regarding the new Stadium.  I kept hearing that the money was there.  That it would mimic what happened with the Van when it was built.  I was very surprised to hear that the funding wasn't clear in the proposal.   Which is why I want to see the proposal.  The statements by the committee don't align with what I've been told. 

IMO the team's investors need to go public with their plans for the team or nothing will ever happen.  Frankly, we don't really need a new stadium.  We already have one that's bigger than most minor league stadiums in the USA.  It's Houseman Field. 

At one point the Soccer Team attempted to propose a massive remodel of Houseman field which would have made it "pro level" complete with luxury boxes, food service improvements, etc. etc.  And it would have meant relocating and rebuilding the track to another location (such as Union high).   It would have allowed football to continue to be played there (the deeding of the land to the schools long ago required that it always be used by the schools, IE. it can't be sold to developers).  Houseman is the perfect size and location for a future USL team.  It simply doesn't comply with the league requirements (mainly the pitch and track) and the massive fees charged by the school and lack of amenities for the team to make money (beer, food, etc.) make it untenable long term.

From what I was told the city wouldn't even discuss the Houseman proposal.   In fact, up until just a couple of months ago the team hadn't even met with the Superintendent.  Team ownership was actively looking to move matches to somewhere other than Houseman for 2018 because nearly all of the team's budget is being spent to pay for use of Houseman field.  They've recently been able to talk directly with the Superintendent and a lot of road blocks to the team holding matches at Houseman have been removed.    

The school system should seriously reconsider how Houseman is operated.   Its operated directly by the school system today.  The schools could maintain ownership, allow for outside investment to improve/alter the stadium and then contract a third party to manage the operations of the stadium.   it could result in the school system actually making money off the Stadium. That is what other municipalities do with publicly owned stadiums.    It is underutilized much of the year when it could be hosting other events.   It's a horrible waste of one of the best assets the city has.  

The people complaining about the parking ramp are the people who would support street cars.  


If that is true, then I really have only one word for such folk: hypocrites. How a streetcar that doesn't really do anything for the environment would gain support from the anti-city-fund crowd is beyond me. I think streetcars are cool but the time to put one in was 20 years ago. Infrastructure cost increases have made them totally a waste of money. 

Houseman Field is a terrible place for long-term investment in the GRFC program. And if they were looking at something similar to how the Van Andel Arena was funded, they must've missed the news that Grand Action has folded. So a $20 - $30 Million stadium will have to come from some other fundraising activity, with a few "champions" of sorts throwing in the first $15 Million.  If you're talking about a riverfront stadium at 201 Market. There has to be some lower cost pieces of land out there near downtown that aren't on the riverfront? 

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