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wyoming_mi

Van Andel Arena expansion?

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Roosevelt Tillman seems to be the leading minority developer in Grand Rapids. He is responsible for most of the development along South Division (South of Wealthy). Here is a link to the article you were referring to:

Mall Grows on Division

There was also an article in todays GR Press about another re-development on South Division dubbed "Casa de..." (can't remember the name). It is also a project spearheaded by minority developers.

I think it happens more often than you think in Grand Rapids. Plenty of the development of streets such as Wealthy, Madison and Division have had a lot to do with minority leaders who care about the core city.

Joe

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Roosevelt Tillman seems to be the leading minority developer in Grand Rapids. He is responsible for most of the development along South Division (South of Wealthy). Here is a link to the article you were referring to:

Mall Grows on Division

There was also an article in todays GR Press about another re-development on South Division dubbed "Casa de..." (can't remember the name). It is also a project spearheaded by minority developers.

I think it happens more often than you think in Grand Rapids. Plenty of the development of streets such as Wealthy, Madison and Division have had a lot to do with minority leaders who care about the core city.

Joe

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I have always been aware of SOME minority entrepreneurs activity in Grand Rapids. I have never doubted that. What stands out to me is the scale and location of the projects. How are minorities involved in the ownership, development or building in Downtown GR or for that matter, in suburban GR? I do not see much minority representation in the more lucrative locations and projects.

It may simply take some time for blacks to develop the capital base, given this nations and the areas history and all. Its kind of like trying to enter an monopoly game that has been started long before you were allowed in the game. Once you get in, most of the good properties are owned and people are making money off of you instead of you making money of them.

I think that thing maybe a lot better in GR than it used to be. I believe that perception naturally lags reality, when perception was shaped by the past and peoples attitudes have gradually changed. The door may now be wide open...but so many people have been conditioned by the past that the door IS closed...that they cannot take advantage when its open. I think that the best cure for that is to see blacks and other minorities represented in all strata of major development. Then other will look and say...wow...there is opportunity and open doors for people who look like me...I am going to give that door a try.

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GR has basketball fans. GR defnately could support an NHL, NBA, and a higher-up baseball farm team (AAA, AA) and the AFL Rampage (Provided they WIN once in a while)

And if Devos sells the Magic, lets hope he sells them to soneone who would move them to Grand Rapids :D

IF the NHL wants to move a team, I could see the Florida Panthers, Atlanta Thrashers, or even the Pittsburgh Penguins here to Grand Rapids.

THeres AAA teams in smaller markets then GR, so we could support a AAA team too. (Likely not a Tigers farm team, but a AAA team)

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I have always been aware of SOME minority entrepreneurs activity in Grand Rapids.

Funny Grand Rapids is almost always on the top of the list for Hispanic development. Last year it was top ten in the nation for Hispanic entreprenuership. Just take a drive down Grandville or the near West Side - there are a few very distinct and successful Hispanic neighborhoods, as well as a good general acceptance of Hispanic businesses.

There is a lot of development in the traditionally black neighborhoods, just smaller projects, but they add up. Sure, there still seem to be some problems, but as the entire city improves, so will some of these areas. The general tone of the city seems much more positive and clean than when I was younger. During the eighties everything was dreary, now entire blocks have dumpsters out from and are renovating. Some of these are in areas that you would not have gone on a dark night a decade ago.

I have also noticed that lately the citites traditionally ethnic areas (like the South East, Westside, etc...) are beginning to really mix. More and more young white families are moving towards the South and South East. I have also noticed major black movement towards what has traditionally be the almost all white Westside. This blend is good for a city. It is good to get people and groups mixing.

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Grand Rapids' yearly economic output is larger than cities like, Buffalo, Jacksonville, New Orleans, or Vegas (for now) and on par with Nashville and Salt Lake City.  We need to start seeing ourselves in this way, or it will never happen.  That being said, there would be stiff competition with the likes of Lousiville (about the same population and economically) and probably Birmingham (a bit smaller and less economically developed).

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Unfortunately for Grand Rapids, much more goes into getting and keeping a sports team then metro economic output. The biggest thing standing in GR's way, is that in reality, its a lot smaller than its metro numbers would suggest, especially compared to cities with more compact urban areas like Birmingham, Louisville, Jax, etc. Another problem is none of the leagues are looking at expanding any time soon, if ever again, outside of the NFL putting a team in LA. Thus meaning GR would have to compete against larger cities for the few teams that may consider relocating. I noticed that someone mentioned expanding the arena to 15-16,000 seats. Thats still pretty small for a professional sports arena. What's the seating capacity of the arena now?

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Unfortunately for Grand Rapids, much more goes into getting and keeping a sports team then metro economic output. 

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I think we are in the phase of doing just that. Again with the Hotel, and D&F projects. But also other projects will rear their heads as well.

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Unfortunately for Grand Rapids, much more goes into getting and keeping a sports team then metro economic output. The biggest thing standing in GR's way, is that in reality, its a lot smaller than its metro numbers would suggest, especially compared to cities with more compact urban areas like Birmingham, Louisville, Jax, etc. Another problem is none of the leagues are looking at expanding any time soon, if ever again, outside of the NFL putting a team in LA. Thus meaning GR would have to compete against larger cities for the few teams that may consider relocating. I noticed that someone mentioned expanding the arena to 15-16,000 seats. Thats still pretty small for a professional sports arena. What's the seating capacity of the arena now?

100% correct. However, you need to look outside of the immediate metro, and at the numbers that most leagues use - one hour drive times or in essence about a 60 mile radius. When that is figured in the West Michigan numbers jump to nearly 2,000,000. A few of those other cities are well below that.

However, pure economics aside. Teams will not be moving for some time, and they sure as hell will not be adding. Most medium sized cities will have little chance, and if an opening does arrive, competition will be fierce. Grand Rapids is too slow off the block to ever win something like this.

Van Andel is also inadequate - and a move would require a new arena. Something that will not happen here for quite some time. Not with Detroit literally sucking every spare penny out of the rest of the state just to keep afloat.

It would be a good NHL market. If the NHL was smart they would realize that their base lies in this region and that they could move all of their teams into the North East / Midwest and still do better than they are right now.

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100% correct.  However, you need to look outside of the immediate metro, and at the numbers that most leagues use - one hour drive times or in essence about a 60 mile radius.  When that is figured in the West Michigan numbers jump to nearly 2,000,000.  A few of those other cities are well below that.

Are you sure there's two million residents living within a 60 mile radius of Grand Rapids? That's pushing it. Anyway, those numbers may work for football, due to its limited number of games, but counting on fans to travel over an hour on a daily basis to attend MLB, NHL & NBA games won't cut it. That's probably the reason many of the smaller markets, GR's size, are struggling now.

Van Andel is also inadequate - and a move would require a new arena.  Something that will not happen here for quite some time.  Not with Detroit literally sucking every spare penny out of the rest of the state just to keep afloat.
Van Andel is a nice arena, but you're right. Grand Rapids would have to build a completely new area with at least 19 - 20,000 seats to even be seriously considered for the NHL or NBA. The market is to small for MLB and NFL, given its location between Detroit, Chicago and Indy.

It would be a good NHL market.  If the NHL was smart they would realize that their base lies in this region and that they could move all of their teams into the North East / Midwest and still do better than they are right now.

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Some of the NHL's best markets, like Dallas, are located in the South, so it would be bad business to completely abandon the region.

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Are you sure there's two million residents living within a 60 mile radius of Grand Rapids? That's pushing it. Anyway, those numbers may work for football, due to its limited number of games, but counting on fans to travel over an hour on a daily basis to attend MLB, NHL & NBA games won't cut it. That's probably the reason many of the smaller markets, GR's size, are struggling now.

GR CMSA 1.2 million

Kzoo/BC 450,000

Lansing 450,000

Plus those that somehow fall in between the metros. There are easily 2,000,000 people withing 60 miles of Grand Rapids - or very close to it.

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Are you sure there's two million residents living within a 60 mile radius of Grand Rapids?  That's pushing it.  Anyway, those numbers may work for football, due to its limited number of games, but counting on fans to travel over an hour on a daily basis to attend MLB, NHL & NBA games won't cut it.  That's probably the reason many of the smaller markets, GR's size, are struggling now.

Van Andel is a nice arena, but you're right.  Grand Rapids would have to build a completely new area with at least 19 - 20,000 seats to even be seriously considered for the NHL or NBA.  The market is to small for MLB and NFL, given its location between Detroit, Chicago and Indy.

Some of the NHL's best markets, like Dallas, are located in the South, so it would be bad business to completely abandon the region.

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Metro GR = Kent, Ottawa, Alegan and Muskegon = 1.2 mill (2005 est) Kalamazoo/Battle Creek = .45 mil Lansing area = .45 mil small counties not part of metro areas within 60 miles .2 mil............Yes....I think that within a 60 mile radius of GR there is 2 mil. Hey....the same could be said for Lansing too though.

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I grudgingly agree that Grand Rapids' chances of getting a professional team are slim. I think their best chance is if the AFL grows into something or if the Devos' decide to move the Orlando Magic to GR (which I don't think will ever happen).

One of the reasons is that I think we are too conservative (and this is in a good way) to finance a $500 million dollar stadium even if we were selected to own a franchise such as the NFL (which wouldn't happen). Sports aren't everything. It adds a lot of pride for a city, but do you think the Lions 8 home games really add that much to the bottom line of Detroit? Probably not...

Joe

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I grudgingly agree that Grand Rapids' chances of getting a professional team are slim. I think their best chance is if the AFL grows into something or if the Devos' decide to move the Orlando Magic to GR (which I don't think will ever happen).

One of the reasons is that I think we are too conservative (and this is in a good way) to finance a $500 million dollar stadium even if we were selected to own a franchise such as the NFL (which wouldn't happen). Sports aren't everything. It adds a lot of pride for a city, but do you think the Lions 8 home games really add that much to the bottom line of Detroit? Probably not...

Joe

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No, but hosting the superbowl is putting Detroit into overhaul mode :P

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Metro GR = Kent, Ottawa, Alegan and Muskegon = 1.2 mill (2005 est) Kalamazoo/Battle Creek = .45 mil  Lansing area = .45 mil  small counties not part of metro areas within 60 miles .2 mil............Yes....I think that within a 60 mile radius of GR there is 2 mil.  Hey....the same could be said for Lansing too though.

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Lansing is about 68 miles east of Grand Rapids, while Kalamazoo is about 50 and Battle Creek is over 60. Since those cities sit in the middle of their metros, to include their entire metro population (to come up with 2 million) would be well in excess of a 60 mile radius from the heart of Grand Rapids.

Using radius numbers that way would bloat other similar sized metro's numbers as well. For example, Buffalo's would include metro Rochester and Jax's would include Brunswick, Gainesville and Daytona. The same thing could probably be applied to any city. The population of Grand Rapid's actual urban area is probably a much more accurate number to use.

Anyway, Grand Rapids is a fine city and has a pretty vibrant downtown core. I'd rather see money that would go for a potential stadium, to go into taking the city's street and cultural scenes to another level.

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I heard that if Detroit doesn't have enough rooms by summer, they may pull it from Detroit. That would be a big loss. Does anyone know if it is true? Such a cool Superbowl too, Superbowl XL. ;)

Joe

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Lansing is about 68 miles east of Grand Rapids, while Kalamazoo is about 50 and Battle Creek is over 60.  Since those cities sit in the middle of their metros, to include their entire metro population (to come up with 2 million) would be well in excess of a 60 mile radius from the heart of Grand Rapids.

Using radius numbers that way would bloat other similar sized metro's numbers as well.  For example, Buffalo's would include metro Rochester and Jax's would include Brunswick, Gainesville and Daytona.  The same thing could probably be applied to any city.  The population of Grand Rapid's actual urban area is probably a much more accurate number to use.

Anyway, Grand Rapids is a fine city and has a pretty vibrant downtown core.  I'd rather see money that would go for a potential stadium, to go into taking the city's street and cultural scenes to another level.

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That

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I got the 68 mile number from my Rand McNally atlas. That number is usually considered from downtown to downtown. Thus East Lansing and other areas East of Lansing, within its metro number, would sit outside that 60 mile radius from the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. The same would go for Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

I spent a couple of days in GR and made the drive between these cities this past summer and without a doubt, there is a considerable amount of undeveloped land between Grand Rapids and Lansing, as well as Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. A professional team in Grand Rapids, wouldn't last long if its counting on a large number of its home base fans to make several trips to Grand Rapids, after work on weekdays to see hockey, baseball or basketball games.

This is the main reason, as well as corporate support (ex. big private benefactor) why Grand Rapids doesn't have any teams today. Its getting close, but at this time, its just not large enough, so there are better options for franchises elsewhere in larger metro areas.

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I heard that if Detroit doesn't have enough rooms by summer, they may pull it from Detroit. That would be a big loss. Does anyone know if it is true? Such a cool Superbowl too, Superbowl XL. ;)

Joe

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I know a guy who works for the local news here in Detroit, and he told me a couple months ago that the NFL would move the Super Bowl to another city if they did not add more hotel rooms by June 1st. I find this odd, since when the city was awarded the game they met all the requirements for the number of hotel rooms. Every single room in the entire metro will be booked, and many will be staying in Toledo & Windsor, but they will pull it off. The same guy told me recently that a few new hotels opened up downriver and in Dearborn, so the NFL decided to keep the game in Detroit.

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I wouldn't trust that guy.  Has there ever been a situation in the past where the NFL moved a game from a host city, because it didn't have enough rooms?

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Not to my knowledge. Detroit is quite different from past host cities though. How many hotel rooms are in Jacksonville? I know they were running short, since they brought in those ships for people to stay on.

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This is the main reason, as well as corporate support (ex. big private benefactor) why Grand Rapids doesn't have any teams today. Its getting close, but at this time, its just not large enough, so there are better options for franchises elsewhere in larger metro areas.

That is funny considering that economy wise GR is larger than more than a handful of cities than house pro teams. It is not a population issue, it is not a money issue - we blow away the standards by a mile. It is a local issue.

There is no one locally that is willing to step it up and bring a team here.

Other than that number and figures mean nothing. Grand Rapids it technically the richest region without a Pro team or a D1 College team to detract from it. We have A LOT of open income for these events.

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I got the 68 mile number from my Rand McNally atlas.  That number is usually considered from downtown to downtown.  Thus East Lansing and other areas East of Lansing, within its metro number, would sit outside that 60 mile radius from the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.  The same would go for Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. 

I spent a couple of days in GR and made the drive between these cities this past summer and without a doubt, there is a considerable amount of undeveloped land between Grand Rapids and Lansing, as well as Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.  A professional team in Grand Rapids, wouldn't last long if its counting on a large number of its home base fans to make several trips to Grand Rapids, after work on weekdays to see hockey, baseball or basketball games. 

This is the main reason, as well as corporate support (ex. big private benefactor) why Grand Rapids doesn't have any teams today.  Its getting close, but at this time, its just not large enough, so there are better options for franchises elsewhere in larger metro areas.

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Rand Mcnally is likely using highway miles, as opposed to calculating distance by a strait line. The shortest distance between two points is a strait line.....highways rarely follow strait lines and certainly I96 between GR and Lansing does not. Thus, the Lansing area is indeed within 60 miles of GR....by strait line methodology.

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That is funny considering that economy wise GR is larger than more than a handful of cities than house pro teams. It is not a population issue, it is not a money issue - we blow away the standards by a mile. It is a local issue.

There is no one locally that is willing to step it up and bring a team here.

Other than that number and figures mean nothing. Grand Rapids it technically the richest region without a Pro team or a D1 College team to detract from it. We have A LOT of open income for these events.

There are not many cities where this exists... neither a pro nor a D1 college team.

My question is... the GR really have a sizable enough upper class to go to these games? Usually the upper class is what attending these games, the middle and lower classes cannot support the tickets of major league sports.

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There are not many cities where this exists... neither a pro nor a D1 college team.

My question is... the GR really have a sizable enough upper class to go to these games? Usually the upper class is what attending these games, the middle and lower classes cannot support the tickets of major league sports.

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There are enough upper class to support a Pro team. Most of them live in hiding here in GR though., at least thats the impression I get.

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