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doormanpoet

Should Minor League sports get expensive stadiums?

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In Nashville we are building a 40 million dollar stadium by our river front for the AAA Nashville Sounds. They need a new stadium, but does minor league really deserve it? The old one is in a very bad part of town. The guitar scoreboard has to go!

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Jacksonville built a new ball field for the AA Jacksonville Suns at $34 million a few years ago. They should be moving up to AAA soon.

jax2.jpg

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I hate the position our AAA Team is going in were about ready to lose the Richmond Braves if the don't build a new stadium in our entertainment district Shockoe Bottom.The Bad thing about the stadium is that its only going to have 7500 seats and the current one has 13000 seats and I think the recomendation is 10,000 seats which I think Seats now in a AAA stadium should be around 20000 to 30000 seats at least. Butn yea I heard we could lose them to Jacksonville or Orlando which really sucks becasue the braves have been here over 60 years.

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Yes, the AAA league requires a minimum of 10,000 and Jacksonville's new stadium seats just enough to meet that.

Memphis has a new AAA field that cost $46 million.

Edit:

After doing some research, that seams to be well in line with the costs of most new ball parks for AAA and even a few AA.

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I think the team owners can spend as much as they want on a stadium.  ^_^

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Exactly. If they can't make a profit without government help, they have no reason to be in business.

Publicly financed stadiums are nothing but a sweetheart deal for team owners (read: wealthy people), particularly when the revenue from the stadium goes to team owners. And then you have to pay to go to the stadium your own tax money paid for!

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Yes, Small cities should be able to have expensive stadiums, because its up to if you have the money or not!

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Exactly.  If they can't make a profit without government help, they have no reason to be in business.

Publicly financed stadiums are nothing but a sweetheart deal for team owners (read: wealthy people), particularly when the revenue from the stadium goes to team owners.  And then you have to pay to go to the stadium your own tax money paid for!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I couldn't disagree more

I'm in Jacksonville, and we have three major facilities (Alltel Stadium - Jaguars, Baseball Grounds - Suns AAA, and the Veterans Memorial Arena - Barracudas Hockey).

All three stadiums are funded by the public, and frankly while some in J-Ville may disagree, I think it is a tremendous advantage. Having publicly financed facilities ensures that the facility can be used for other purposes, and it will keep the interest of the City in mind. For example, the Baseball Grounds hosts many other events throught baseball season, such as the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament for the next two years. How is this an advantage to the owner of the Suns? Not at all.

Do you think that Wayne Weaver (Jags Owner) likes the fact that three premier football games each season are hosted at Alltel that don't involve his team (Florida-Georgia, ACC Championship, and the Gator Bowl)? Do you think that Weaver would throw $7.7 Million at the ACC to host the ACC Football Championship (By the way, the game should bring about $50 million to Jacksonville, so you spend $7.7 to make $50). Of course not - It would tie up his facility three times in three months, but it is better for the city.

Jacksonville is becoming the premier venue to host neutral site sporting events - Just look at the list:

Florida-Georgia Football Game

ACC Football Championship

ACC Baseball Championship

NCAA Basketball Tournament (Sub-Regional Host)

Super Bowl XXXIX

Gator Bowl

Also, this is a quote from the Times-Union the day after it was awarded the ACC Football Championship:

"And because Alltel was the only NFL stadium that was city-owned, and not owned by the NFL team, the ACC has greater freedom for advertising inside and outside the stadium."

Financially, remember - the team playing in the venue pays the city rent. Other costs are divided between the City and the Team

I believe that in a Middle Tier Market, the only way to take full advantage of your sporting facilities is for them to be City-Owned.

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I couldn't disagree more

All three stadiums are funded by the public, and frankly while some in J-Ville may disagree, I think it is a tremendous advantage.  Having publicly financed facilities ensures that the facility can be used for other purposes, and it will keep the interest of the City in mind.  For example, the Baseball Grounds hosts many other events throught baseball season, such as the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament for the next two years.  How is this an advantage to the owner of the Suns?  Not at all. 

Do you think that Wayne Weaver (Jags Owner) likes the fact that three premier football games each season are hosted at Alltel that don't involve his team (Florida-Georgia, ACC Championship, and the Gator Bowl)? Do you think that Weaver would throw $7.7 Million at the ACC to host the ACC  Football Championship (By the way, the game should bring about $50 million to Jacksonville, so you spend $7.7 to make $50).  Of course not - It would tie up his facility three times in three months, but it is better for the city.

Jacksonville is becoming the premier venue to host neutral site sporting events - Just look at the list:

Florida-Georgia Football Game

ACC Football Championship

ACC Baseball Championship

NCAA Basketball Tournament (Sub-Regional Host)

Super Bowl XXXIX

Gator Bowl

Also, this is a quote from the Times-Union the day after it was awarded the ACC Football Championship:

"And because Alltel was the only NFL stadium that was city-owned, and not owned by the NFL team, the ACC has greater freedom for advertising inside and outside the stadium."

Financially, remember - the team playing in the venue pays the city rent.  Other costs are divided between the City and the Team

I believe that in a Middle Tier Market, the only way to take full advantage of your sporting facilities is for them to be City-Owned.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I grew up in Jacksonville and witnessed the creation of the Jaguars firsthand. It was basically a complete giveaway to Wayne Weaver and passed without debate in the City Council. Of course the City Council was (and probably still is) pro development, pro construction industry so this was not surprising. $121 million in construction costs plus Weaver gets to keep all stadium revenue from Jaguars games. If the stadium needs repair, Weaver throws a fit (optionally threatening to leave) and the city pays up. What's not to like about that deal? To my knowledge, the team pays no rent to the city - the Jaguars presence is payment enough.

You are right that Jacksonville has garnered itself attention by throwing money at stadiums. What I would ask is how much has the city spent on these stadiums and what priorities have been neglected because of it? When Jacksonville needed money for road and other projects, they told citizens they better approve a sales tax increase (the "Better Jacksonville Plan") as there was no money in the treasury - brilliant! Spend legitimate tax money on stadium giveaways and other boondoggle development projects, then resort to "voter approved" tax increases to fund actual projects the community might get some real value out of.

Team owners benefit greatly from these sorts of deals because one of their biggest costs (and one that some team owners pay) is comped by the government. Publicly financed stadiums truly are a professional sports subsidy. Studies have been done showing publicly financed stadiums are losers for communities, though that fact can be debated.

If you measure the quality of a city by how many championship games it hosts, then I suppose Jacksonville spending bundles on stadiums was brilliant. That is not my definition of a good city however, and is one of the reasons I could never be happy paying taxes to a city with such priorities.

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Zed, there was already $750 million in transportation projects that were going to happen whether the BJP was approved or not. The BBJ simply fast forwarded them. The BJP only added $1.5 billion more and the Ball Park, Arena, Library and Court House are a park fo the BJP. We didn't use funds first to pay for those stadiums, except Alltel back in 1994, and then ask for more from the BJP, those projects were part of the BJP plan.

As I said, we had $750 million coming to road projects anyway, even if the BJP didn't get passed and the BJP is what paid for those other stadiums so there was no neglect of other city infrastuctures.

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