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Florida

Tallahassee Civic Center

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The Civic Center

Tallahassee, FL

CivicCenter.jpg

There's a problem at the Local Civic Center and I'm calling for an investigation into what's happening. Tallahassee has lost several entertainment options over the years because they couldn't afford the cost of our Local Arena. Tallahassee has been passed over for concerts and shows for the same reason, and the civic center has also had great difficulty in negotiating a deal for the Convention Center Hotel we were supossed to get almost 10 years ago. Attendance is lack-luster for nearly EVERYTHING that comes here, and prices are sky-high!

Look at this most recent news from a Tallahassee Democrat report on the Tallahassee Titans:

The Titans sold 1,887 tickets

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interesting post, is it run by local gov't or a management company like AEG? i am not familiar with what other arenas charge for rent so that may be the best thing to find out to see where the DLTC ranks. other cities our size (or smaller) that have arenas with football teams in them would be Tupelo, Albany, and Lakeland.

i am still in the camp that the best thing to do would be to raze the building and start anew.

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TJ, I've always been suspicious of the operations over there. In addition to the cities that Monti mentioned, I'd be interested to see what they do over in P'cola. They seem to be much more successful over there. Often times I'm just as aware as to what events are going on over there as I am here.

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Our Civic Center operates very much under Government control. I'm sure everyone here has heard of the Civic Center Authority, that is comprised of members from Local Government, and the Universities. Ron Spenser and crew answer to this Authority.

I took at look at the Pensacola Civic Center website and was awe struck at how nice it was. Please compare just the front pages of Our Civic Center site to theirs and tell me if you wouldn't feel more inclined to take a second look at events at Pensacola over Tallahassee. No wonder they're able to get concerts and events we cannot.

Pensacola's Center is operated by SMI, a private company, that operates other centers throughout Florida.

I'll attach images of both Facilities Homepages.

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post-3748-1177431890_thumb.jpg

post-3748-1177431884_thumb.jpg

post-3748-1177431890_thumb.jpg

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The Lakeland Center is significantly smaller than the DLTCC, probably wouldnt be a good comparison.

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I think it's time for a change in management at our Civic Center & I've felt this way long before the Titans issue came up. In several past dealings with Ron Spencer & his staff I have found them to be nothing short of rude, arrogant, uncooperative, self-absorbed or whatever other adjective you choose to describe them. They know they're the only game in town as far as facility size & with no competition they don't hesitate to act that way & hold you over the barrel. I think Ron Spencer has been there way too long & has gotten way too comfortable with the status quo. Just like we've said our Airport needs some new blood with some fresh new ideas, the same holds true for our Civic Center. While still not perfect, look at all the positive changes with StarMetro since Ron Garrison took over at the helm. The same needs to happen with the Civic Center. Now whether it continues to be run in the same form of management structure it currently is or whether it should be run by a professional management company is still open for debate but it is clear that we need change at our Civic Center & the sooner the better.

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I'm all for a professional Management Company.

I'm adding a Poll to this thread... please vote!

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I'm adding a Poll to this thread... please vote!

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The person who noted Civic Center Authority. Is it because they've allowed Spencer to remain employeed so long?

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While I understand what bahmo is saying and it does make sense, that is the ONLY game in town and to exist here, you must deal w/that beast. I would like to see how other cities our size w/civic centers charge their customers and what revenues they share w/them. That comparison will really shed some light on the whether it is management problems or not.

That said, I'm all in favor or turning over the Civic Center to a private company to operate. I feel the same way about TLH airport too.

Bottom line: It's time for Spencer to go!

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Poonther and I are on the same page with regard to turning over management of Civic Center and Airport.

Although, I stick with bahmo on most of his comments above.

How would we go about getting the data from different Civic Centers? Are there some good comps, other than Pensacola, that we could add to our list. I could start a data collection process soon.

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If you go to the info tab on the center's website, the annual reports (with all revenue, expenditures, etc.) for 98-99, 99-00 and 02-03 are actually posted- some interesting reading. Sure would be nice to see the ones from 04-present.

http://www.tlccc.org/info_html/annual.html

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I take so long to type that I find two new responses by the time I am done.

It seems like the Authority itself should be comparing its situation with other places, as should the leagues. It shouldn't be too hard to get the basic numbers from several franchises. Are there teams with half our attendance that are not losing money? How are they doing that? Fewer ticket giveaways? Local government charity? Better corporate sponsorship? Better percentage of game-generated revenue? Free radio coverage (I can't remember for sure if it was the Tigersharks or the Thunder, but I think it was the Thunder who paid like $35,000 to broadcast their games but sold the ads themselves)?

I have trouble getting beyond the fact that we have the league's best attendance numbers but are in danger of going broke halfway through the season. That should not be possible unless: 1) the team pissed away a lot of money, 2) the team is giving away half the tickets, and/or 3) the Civic Center's lease terms are too onerous. Right now, there are hints that all three are true in the case of the Titans, but that doesn't explain the Tigersharks and Thunder.

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I still don't think the answer is "Tallahassee can't support these teams", no matter what the findings are, 13,000 seats is nothing. Tallahassee had proven it can support athletic programs that are far more expensive and in greater numbers throughout the years, although they happen to be collegiate programs. I'm sure there has to be a sizable population in our area, who feels much like myself and will support anything that is calls Tallahassee, FL home, without regard to what school the players graduated from and how long ago.

I'm not so sure I'm confortable with the "ultimate answer" above, because it makes Tallahassee to dependent on FSU for those type of events, when we should be working towards a community/region/state-wide venue. I know I've upset stjoe in the past with these type of comments, and I'm sure I even convinced him I don't like FSU because of some of the things I said about FSU and it's stronghold on the Civic Center, but the facility was built for the Citizens of Tallahassee and the State of Florida, not just FSU. Another 12,000 seat facility would be fine for FSU to build for itself, FAMU is in the process of building one also. But I don't see any reason why we'd need to scale down the size of a perfectly good facility when we've already paid for it. I do think there are some relatively inexpensive things we can do to dress it up and make it look more modern, inside and out, as well as making it more functional for our purposes but those things I feel would be accomplished ONLY if we hired a Private firm to manage it.

Same with the Airport.

I take so long to type that I find two new responses by the time I am done.

It seems like the Authority itself should be comparing its situation with other places, as should the leagues. It shouldn't be too hard to get the basic numbers from several franchises. Are there teams with half our attendance that are not losing money? How are they doing that? Fewer ticket giveaways? Local government charity? Better corporate sponsorship? Better percentage of game-generated revenue? Free radio coverage (I can't remember for sure if it was the Tigersharks or the Thunder, but I think it was the Thunder who paid like $35,000 to broadcast their games but sold the ads themselves)?

I have trouble getting beyond the fact that we have the league's best attendance numbers but are in danger of going broke halfway through the season. That should not be possible unless: 1) the team pissed away a lot of money, 2) the team is giving away half the tickets, and/or 3) the Civic Center's lease terms are too onerous. Right now, there are hints that all three are true in the case of the Titans, but that doesn't explain the Tigersharks and Thunder.

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I am no fan of FSU, but the reality is that the civic center would be a big waste of space without the university events and many of the things we get are solely because we have two universities here. A major university needs an on-campus facility. Tallahassee, outside of the annual mens game against Duke, does not need a 13,000-seat arena. A scaled-down arena half that size would be much cheaper to run, would be louder, and would be perfect for a metro area of 250,000 people (especially if there is a larger facility on campus). We should be striving for nice, special things that are appropriate for the area, not poor imitations of big city facilities that we really don't need.

I am sure that there are several people who are more than ready to support a Tallahassee team. The Tigersharks and Thunder history demonstrates that. The question is whether there are enough of them who are willing to shell out enough cash to make the teams work and whether there are enough businesses willing to spend some of their limited promo money on minor league sports instead of on the more popular FSU sports. People only have so much money to spend on sporting events. After you take away those people who spend all of their sporting budgets on FSU and FAMU (and even Gator events) events, is Tallahassee still comparable to other metropolitan areas of 250,000 or is it more like 100,000?

The big question is still why a team with the league's best attendance is failing. However, if that attendance is grossly inflated by comp tickets, then it goes back to whether Tallahassee is capable of putting enough paid spectators in the seats.

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Why can't those same people support two venues the way I do? And, I'm in no way wealthy.

Look at Pensacola's Civic Center, they have no major university pulling events, but they're able to pull more entertainment, I feel, because of the management company they employ.

just a brief response... I feel eyes over my shoulder.

We got another "Other" vote. Someone needs to explain!

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Why can't those same people support two venues the way I do? And, I'm in no way wealthy.

Look at Pensacola's Civic Center, they have no major university pulling events, but they're able to pull more entertainment, I feel, because of the management company they employ.

just a brief response... I feel eyes over my shoulder.

We got another "Other" vote. Someone needs to explain!

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Slight nitpick bahmo but it does not change your point: Tally metro is 350K not 250K.

P'cola metro (military included) is around 450K, however w/in an hour's drive of downtown P'cola are a little over 1 million people b/c of Mobile and Fort Walton/Destin. Within an hour's drive of Tally are only approx. 600k people. That is where the difference is.

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I am pretty sure that Pensacola's metropolitan population is almost twice that of Tallahassee's, and that doesn't include Mobile (not sure if it includes all the military bases).

We're talking about a 3rd-tier arena football league, which makes it about 5 levels below the NFL. I like Tallahassee, but you're going to have to try pretty hard for me to divert my entertainment dollars to what is essentially a semi-pro indoor football team. With the Tigersharks, it was part of a system, much like minor league baseball. There was a chance that you were watching future NHL players. Even with the Thunder, you knew that guys could move up to the AFL and that a few AFL players had moved on to the CFL or NFL. Many people here are diehard Seminole fans and would rather go to an FSU baseball game on a Saturday night or stay home and listen to it on the radio. It's not just about supporting two venues. It's about prioritizing your spending. This is a college town, and southern college fans are truly fanatics. Very few would choose to go spend $10 on arena football instead of $5 on FSU baseball. Those of us who are not diehard Seminoles might be willing to support a team here, but it can't be just anything. You can't hire guys off the street, throw uniforms on them, and claim that you are selling a professional sport. Single A or Rookie league baseball? Good. Independent, unaffiliated league stocked with passed over players with no hope of advancing? I'll stay home and watch the White Sox on TV.

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Slight observation: How do you explain more people attending this last Titan's game than FSU's Baseball game with #2 Ranked North Carolina on the same night?

To me, it doesn't matter if this team is AFL, af2, AIFA, or street. Tallahassee has a team suited up wearing our name playing a team from another City. That's more than enough reason to earn my support... but again, I'm a die-hard Tallahasseean, and people like me are hard to find around here.... I suppose.

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