SBD/Issue 241/Facilities & Venues

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  • Miller Park Stadium District Tax Collections See Drop From '08

    Sales-tax collections for the Miller Park stadium district "plummeted 29% in August compared with the same period last year and are now running 10.4% behind a year ago," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The economic downturn "has had a dramatic impact," as only $1.96M was distributed to the district through the 0.1% sales tax in August, "far below what had been forecast." The district this year through August has received $15.9M in the five-county region, "more than $1.4[M] under what had been expected." Miller Park stadium district Exec Dir Mike Duckett said that the district BOD is "disappointed but realistic given the state of the economy." Duckett: "Given the current circumstances, the district will not need to collect more sales tax money, but it may take longer for us to collect the same amount of money to fully retire our debt at Miller Park." Wisconsin Department of Revenue spokesperson Jessica Iverson said that sales tax collections are down because "fewer automobiles are being sold, utility usage had dropped and fewer overall sales tax returns were being filed because of the economy." Walker notes the district "had hoped to end the tax in 2014," but the "new reality now suggests the tax will be in place beyond 2014." But the district BOD is "not prepared to say with any accuracy when the sunset date will be" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/2).

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  • Lambeau Field Sales Tax Could Expire Earlier Than Expected

    Green Bay/Brown County (WI) Professional Stadium District officials Monday said that the 0.5% county sales tax paying off the Lambeau Field mortgage "could be over by 2015, about eight or nine years earlier than expected," according to Andy Nelesen of the GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE. Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District Exec Dir Pat Webb said that the debt from the $297M stadium renovation "should be paid off by 2011, with a few additional years of sales tax needed to bankroll long-term stadium maintenance." Webb: "We've done in 10 years what we could have done in 30." Meanwhile, Green Bay City Council President Chris Wery "wanted to know why more events aren't held at Lambeau Field." Packers VP/Administration & General Counsel Jason Wied said that the team "sees itself as an economic catalyst for the area and pointed out the stadium's Atrium and other amenities host between 500 and 800 events a year, with 70[%] of those visitors coming from outside Green Bay." Wied added that there are "efforts to bring a college football game to Lambeau and said a large stadium concert isn't out of the question," but "making the logistics work is the tough part" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 9/1). In Milwaukee, Don Walker notes sales-tax collections from the Brown County-only tax so far this year are "down 8.5%, compared with the same time period last year" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/2).

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  • Lighthouse Hearing Set For Same Date As Islanders' K.C. Game

    Hempstead Schedules Lighthouse Hearing On
    Same Day As Islanders' Exhibition In K.C.
    The Town of Hempstead (NY) has scheduled a zoning hearing on the proposed Lighthouse Project for September 22, which "happens to be the date" of the Islanders-Kings exhibition game at K.C.'s Sprint Center, according to Eden Laikin of NEWSDAY. The hearing will focus on "details of the mixed-use proposal, such as the number of apartment buildings to be allowed and the height of each structure." If the Hempstead Town board approves the date at its meeting next Tuesday, the zoning hearing will be held 11 days before the start of the NHL season and Islanders Owner Charles Wang's "self-imposed deadline for 'certainty' on the project." Wang has said that if he "isn't told what can be built on the site" by October 3, he will "'explore his other options' as far as selling or moving" the franchise. Wang planned to attend the game in K.C., which has "publicly expressed a desire for an NHL team," and Hempstead officials yesterday said that they "didn't realize the significance of the date" (NEWSDAY, 9/2).

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  • Facility Notes

    In Edmonton, Scott McKeen writes the Oilers "have their work cut out for them in coming months, convincing Edmontonians a downtown arena is in their best interest, not just the hockey club's." The Oilers may "find a citizenry leery of seeing its tax dollars used on big public projects." Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel promises "taxes won't fund the arena project," but the city "will surely be asked to finance the arena, then use future taxes from the area ... to pay down the debt." But McKeen writes, "I remain convinced that a well-designed arena project will help revitalize downtown" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 9/2).

    Restructuring Plans: In Memphis, Marlon Morgan reports the Triple-A PCL Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation (MRBF) for the second time this year "failed to make a scheduled bond payment -- but this time it was with permission." MRBF officials yesterday said that they have "entered into a forbearance agreement with US Bank," the trustee for the $72M in bonds that were issued to build AutoZone Park. That agreement "allows the foundation's board members to work with the bondholders to restructure how they will make payments in the future." The team had been "scheduled to make an annual payment" of $5.4M, which was "broken into three installments due March 1, Sept. 1 and Nov. 1." There is "no timetable for the Redbirds' next payment, nor has an amount been set" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 9/2).

    BUS STOP: In Ft. Worth, Gordon Dickson reports the city's Transportation Authority "will provide shuttle buses from downtown Fort Worth to Cowboys Stadium for each regular season game, beginning with the Sept. 20 home opener against" the Giants. The new Cowboys Coaches service "will cost just $5 per person, plus an optional $5-per-vehicle fee for those who wish to park at the T&P Station lot, where the buses will depart" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/2).

    BEHIND THE CURTAIN: CSN California last night aired "A's All Access," a special behind-the-scenes look at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum before and during the Royals-A's game. A's Equipment Manager Steve Vucinich said the team’s clubhouse is "not real plush, but it's functional. Let's put it that way." CSN's Brodie Brazil said the majority of fans "think of a stadium as not really a place that you come to eat," but the chefs "treat the Coliseum like a restaurant" (CSN California, 9/1).

    CLEAR VISION: Panasonic has been named the official HDTV supplier of Red Bull Arena. Panasonic will install multimedia and electronic systems in the MLS Red Bulls' new stadium, which is slated to open in March '10 (Panasonic).

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