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Van Andel Arena Expansion?


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On 8/2/2020 at 5:38 PM, walker said:

Don't know why exactly it was in this thread but back in May 2019 there were some posts about the Detroit Pistons buying their own G league team and having it play at Wayne State in Detroit and what then would happen to the GR Drive.

 

Today in the Detroit Free Press is an article stating they've done it,  the Pistons have bought the Northern Arizona Suns,  a G league team, and will be moving it to Detroit to play at Wayne State.  The article speculates about what will happen to the Drive:

  freep: detroit-pistons-grand-rapids-drive-g-league-whats-next

An update on the GR Drive.  No minor league basketball this year and who knows what might happen after that.  The G league will operate this year in a bubble in Florida at Disneyworld.  A number of teams, including the Drive, have decided to sit out the season.  This essentially ends their association with the Pistons which was to end after this year anyway.  As of yet, they have no affiliation going forward with any other NBA team.

GR BUSINESS JOURNAL: grand-rapids-drive-opt-out-of-2020-21-season

If you can't get into the GR Biz Journal, try this Free Press link:

FREE PRESS: grand-rapids-drive-detroit-pistons-g-league-bubble

 

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Videoconference pro-tip: Put the meeting on your secondary/tertiary monitor (you have multiple monitors, right?) so you're looking straight into the camera when you're doing something else.

Agreed. However, GVSU is run by and supported by people that would rather stagnate in the shallow waters of Division II than venture out into the unknown of Division I and compete with universities fa

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On 1/23/2021 at 9:32 PM, GrSportsGuy said:

Seems like a rather odd placement for the new information sign...rather small too.

59BD8884-4865-4FEF-963E-3521B8B4BB04.jpeg

I had always hoped for a covered pedestrian bridge over Fulton to the ramp with LED strips on it to add information coming up to the arena and downtown.

 

Not my money though. Good at spending others though.

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11 hours ago, Cookin_peacocks said:

I had always hoped for a covered pedestrian bridge over Fulton to the ramp with LED strips on it to add information coming up to the arena and downtown.

 

Not my money though. Good at spending others though.

Not nearly as showy, but there is already a skywalk connection over Ottawa that connects to everything on the DT skywalk system.

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11 hours ago, organsnyder said:

Not nearly as showy, but there is already a skywalk connection over Ottawa that connects to everything on the DT skywalk system.

Yeah, but directly from the arena would be over Fulton would help ease foot traffic after shows and games as well provide info for events. Plus it would just look cool.

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1 hour ago, Cookin_peacocks said:

Yeah, but directly from the arena would be over Fulton would help ease foot traffic after shows and games as well provide info for events. Plus it would just look cool.

The last thing this city needs is another skywalk. Sorry. 

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On 1/23/2021 at 9:32 PM, GrSportsGuy said:

Seems like a rather odd placement for the new information sign...rather small too.

59BD8884-4865-4FEF-963E-3521B8B4BB04.jpeg

The City  knows how to size the street signs. The DDA signs are all too small, one needs to stop to be able to read them. Greenleaf Trust knows how to size a sign:)

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9 minutes ago, Raildude's dad said:

The City  kbnows how to size the street signs. The DDA signs are all too small, ne needs to stop to be able to read them. Greenleaf Trust knows how to size a sign:)

Aren't those big street signs relics of the 80s/90s? There used to be a lot more of them, and now there are only a few left (Fulton/Ottawa, Fulton/Division, Michigan/Fuller)

There are new large-scale street signs (the ones without the yellow circle logo...) in a few places around town. And some suburbs (particularly Wyoming) have large scale ones. But I don't think the City of GR has put up very many in the past couple decades. 

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The Federal Highway Administration actually increased the recommended street sign sizing due to the aging of the population and aging eye sight. The last thing needed is out of town visitors hunting for and squinting to read street signs. But no one from FHWA is enforcing the size recommendations.

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On 1/26/2021 at 11:06 AM, joeDowntown said:

One of the renderings of the "plaza redo" had a bridge from the plaza to the 2nd level. I thought  that was kind of interesting. But agree, I think skywalks kill street level activity.

Joe

I’ve heard the skywalks kill street level activity argument since the days of mayor Logie.  Personally, I don’t think it’s quite that black and white.  I think a factor that kills street level activity is actually often crap weather.  Most people enjoy being outside and only choose an alternative like the skywalk if they are avoiding adverse weather conditions or have a specific destination in mind and want to walk there without the hassle of crosswalks, etc.

In this case especially, as an alternative to standing around waiting to cross Fulton while it’s freezing cold, or pouring rain, it would be a nice touch.  I really don’t think there would be anyone who would say, “well, I was going to go to the BOB, but since there’s this skywalk over Fulton I think I’ll pass.”

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1 hour ago, wingbert said:

I’ve heard the skywalks kill street level activity argument since the days of mayor Logie.  Personally, I don’t think it’s quite that black and white.  I think a factor that kills street level activity is actually often crap weather.  Most people enjoy being outside and only choose an alternative like the skywalk if they are avoiding adverse weather conditions or have a specific destination in mind and want to walk there without the hassle of crosswalks, etc.

In this case especially, as an alternative to standing around waiting to cross Fulton while it’s freezing cold, or pouring rain, it would be a nice touch.  I really don’t think there would be anyone who would say, “well, I was going to go to the BOB, but since there’s this skywalk over Fulton I think I’ll pass.”

I agree.  We went DT last weekend to eat "out" and see the art. If it wasn't for a chance to walk the skywalks and warm up for a few minutes, we wouldn't have stayed down there nearly as long.  Same for other times during rain.  We'll always walk outside unless the weather forces us to the skywalks - I would assume most are that way except people who come DT for one event and then just leave right away.

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5 hours ago, wingbert said:

I’ve heard the skywalks kill street level activity argument since the days of mayor Logie.  Personally, I don’t think it’s quite that black and white.  I think a factor that kills street level activity is actually often crap weather.  Most people enjoy being outside and only choose an alternative like the skywalk if they are avoiding adverse weather conditions or have a specific destination in mind and want to walk there without the hassle of crosswalks, etc.

In this case especially, as an alternative to standing around waiting to cross Fulton while it’s freezing cold, or pouring rain, it would be a nice touch.  I really don’t think there would be anyone who would say, “well, I was going to go to the BOB, but since there’s this skywalk over Fulton I think I’ll pass.”

Can't argue with that. :) I'm never coming from a direction where they are convenient to use, but I hate being cold and probably would if it was convenient. :)

Joe

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As someone who walks in the skywalks during crappy weather, I wish they would complete the loop, hit the ottawa/fulton ramp, the one to the north, and then all the way up to city hall.  Will it ever happen probably not.  If I were attending a convention in GR in the winter, especially if I had things to transport, I would definitely go with one of the three hotels connected to the skywalk. 

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On 2/5/2021 at 3:21 PM, Floyd_Z said:

As someone who walks in the skywalks during crappy weather, I wish they would complete the loop, hit the ottawa/fulton ramp, the one to the north, and then all the way up to city hall.  Will it ever happen probably not.  If I were attending a convention in GR in the winter, especially if I had things to transport, I would definitely go with one of the three hotels connected to the skywalk. 

I'm not a huge skywalk fan, but I get the idea of connecting the garages to the arena (and the Leo's garage already connects to the CityFlats Hotel/Monroe Center). But I don't really see the purpose of going further north? And I can't picture a skywalk across Monroe Center looking anything other than out of place. 

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On 1/12/2021 at 11:41 PM, walker said:

An update on the GR Drive.  No minor league basketball this year and who knows what might happen after that.  The G league will operate this year in a bubble in Florida at Disneyworld.  A number of teams, including the Drive, have decided to sit out the season.  This essentially ends their association with the Pistons which was to end after this year anyway.  As of yet, they have no affiliation going forward with any other NBA team.

GR BUSINESS JOURNAL: grand-rapids-drive-opt-out-of-2020-21-season

If you can't get into the GR Biz Journal, try this Free Press link:

FREE PRESS: grand-rapids-drive-detroit-pistons-g-league-bubble

 

Again, news about the GR Drive basketball team probably belongs in a DeltaPlex thread if there is such a thing or have its own topic, but I'll just continue it here in the Van Andel Arena thread where it started.

Rumor has it the Drive will continue in Grand Rapids and will remain independently owned (sort of) but will be the affiliate of the Denver Nuggets next year:

 hoops rumors : grand rapids drive expected to become nuggets g league affiliate

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On 2/20/2021 at 9:21 PM, civitas said:

The most valuable retail in an urban area is located on the pedestrian flow between large buildings and large parking decks.  Skywalks kill that traffic.  Equally important is the visual impact they have on the urban streetscape.  The street is the primary place where we experience our cities.  Skywalks destroy the scale of the corridor and the views, especially those views that terminate in a focal point.  

Years ago there was an effort to connect the previous art museum across Pearl with the building to the south.  It would have had a horrible impact on the view to St. Marks.  Thankfully the city recognized the impact and it never happened.  

You live in Michigan.  Put a sweater on and enjoy the street.  :)

Are you saying that someone going downtown for the purpose of shopping and dining would become enthralled by the allure of the skywalk and would forget what they came to do?  Or are you saying that someone using the skywalk to get from a parking garage to the specific destination for which  they came downtown, would bypass an interesting store or restaurant (provided they had time to stop) because of the skywalk? 
Not that I’m some big advocate for filling the city with skywalks, but they can serve a purpose and the issue shouldn’t be oversimplified.  So, putting aside personal opinions on the aesthetics of skywalks (or lack thereof), the practicality of the option (especially for some demographics/ population segments) in this geography shouldn’t be underestimated - regardless of whether or not a person is tough enough to just put on a sweater.

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I see skywalks as an "all things in moderation" situation. If I had to run through a list of when to install a skywalk, it would be something like this:

  • Does the skywalk connect a major destination to parking and/or a transit hub?
  • Is crossing the street the skywalk bypasses difficult (or unpleasant) in ways that can't be mitigated by something other than a skywalk?
  • Are there a high number of mobility challenged people trying to access to major destination?
  • Is there a functional reason why the buildings should be connected by a climate controlled walkway

By those criteria, I think connecting the Fulton/Ottawa garage to Van Andel Arena would make sense. And all the ones on the hill for the hospital, and within the Amway/JW/DeVos Place complex.  

And when to avoid installing a skywalk:

  • When there are street-level businesses that rely on foot traffic.
  • When streets are not difficult to cross.
  • In order to connect destinations that don't have a natural connection to each other other than being across the street (like two office buildings). 
  • When  there are other practical ways to make crossing the street easier.
  • When there are major aesthetic concerns. 

So for that reason, I don't know that we should add them on Monroe Center, or along Ionia. Sounds like we're going to see some for the Spectrum HQ in Monroe North, which is kind of a gray area, but also would ensure Bond Street never develops anything interesting at street level. 

 

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20 hours ago, Onekama said:

If interested in the debate about skywalks, this podcast about the system in the Twin Cities is interesting:

https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/beneath-the-skyway/

I'm not buying the racially motivated serve-only white collar white crowd that the MN podcast suggests. GR's are much much smaller, hardly any retail that caters to the skywalk, and essentially only serve as a connection from a few hotels to the arena and convention center, absolutely vital to attract conventions in one of the snowiest cities in US. They are welcome to all races that use them for that, not to someone of any race there to loiter or harass others ect. Its also not displacing any ground floor retail except maybe a hotdog cart or two, but thats still tax revenue, its still jobs.  Cedar Rapids Iowa (a smaller city) has a much larger skywalk system in place than Grand Rapids, so does Des Moines which has arguably better street presence, better skyline, more hotels, newer and bigger arena and convention center than GR so I dont think our skywalks are negatively affecting anything, only positively, and if I was one of the hotel or parking ramp owners not connected, I would argue for more connections. 

 

On 2/18/2021 at 4:44 PM, walker said:

Again, news about the GR Drive basketball team probably belongs in a DeltaPlex thread if there is such a thing or have its own topic, but I'll just continue it here in the Van Andel Arena thread where it started.

Rumor has it the Drive will continue in Grand Rapids and will remain independently owned (sort of) but will be the affiliate of the Denver Nuggets next year:

 hoops rumors : grand rapids drive expected to become nuggets g league affiliate

For some reason the trend bothers me where major leagues place farm teams in their own market, I get the geographic advantage but its like the only reason it exists is for development and not for fan base or even to make more money? Will Detroit support a minor league bball team? NY, LA, Chicago, DC all have them among others but those are displacing deserving markets like Buffalo, San Diego, St. Louis, Baltimore respectively as examples. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, GR8scott said:

For some reason the trend bothers me where major leagues place farm teams in their own market, I get the geographic advantage but its like the only reason it exists is for development and not for fan base or even to make more money? Will Detroit support a minor league bball team? NY, LA, Chicago, DC all have them among others but those are displacing deserving markets like Buffalo, San Diego, St. Louis, Baltimore respectively as examples. 

 

 

I think when you're looking at a minor league team's fan base (at least for one affiliated with a major league team), there are basically two types of fans:

1) The fan who genuinely cares about the team winning , or at least enjoys going to the games to watch the sport and hang out.

2) The die hard fan of the major league team using it to develop players. I'm not a particularly big sports fan, but if I was a big Pistons fans I'd probably be interested in going to a few Drive games here and there to watch younger, potentially future Pistons players develop. Ben Wallace was undrafted and rose to be the foundation of their championship run back in '04.  You never know what future stars could be playing in some of these games. See: Whitecaps.  The Pistons can barely fill Little Ceasars Arena though, I'm not sure how they also fill Wayne State's arena on top of that with a minor league team.

Edit: just did a Google image search for Wayne State's "arena." Forget my last sentence. 

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