Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Orlando Approves MLS Stadium

Cross-posted from Neil deMause's Field of Schemes:
As expected, the Orange County Commission voted 5-2 in favor of spending tourist tax money on a new MLS soccer stadium yesterday, with former project foe Pete Clarke casting the deciding vote. Clarke didn’t get the promise he was seeking that the Orlando City Soccer Club would share profits with the county in exchange for $20 million in subsidies, but instead settled for the team kicking in $200,000 a year for 15 years to the county parks budget, though even that reportedly hasn’t been finalized.

With the city of Orlando having already approved the plan, this pretty much cements it in stone: The Orlando City Lions will likely become MLS’s 21st team either in 2015 or 2016, under league commissioner Don Garber’s “let a thousand soccer teams bloom” program. The new $94 million stadium — to be built near the Magic‘s Amway Center in the mostly poor, mostly African-American downtown neighborhood of Parramore — would be paid for roughly half by the team and half by the public: OCSC has committed to $30 million up front plus rent payments to cover $10 million in bonds, Orange County and the city of Orlando have each approved $20 million in tax money, and the other $14 million will apparently be paid off by everyone throwing their money on the table and leaving before the waiter has a chance to add up the bill.

The benefits of the stadium will be anything but halfsies, though: The team will get all revenues from soccer games (which will be the main use of the place, since it’s a soccer stadium), plus half of advertising board fees for non-soccer events; the county, despite owning the building, will be left with whatever it can get from renting the place out for concerts and the like. It all makes you wish that somebody had suggested a larger cut of the proceeds for the public in exchange for kicking in half the funding … oh, right.

20 comments:

  1. As always, a nice "glass 1/2 empty" view of it! Unstated for obvious reasons is the projection of well over a billion dollars in revenue within the next 30 yr. stemming from hosting a MLS team in downtown Orlando, and if the MLS becomes a true major sport in time, it could become close to or more then 2 billion for only a $94 mill investment that comes from taxes paid for by people that mostly don't live in Orlando & taxes made because Orlando attracted them with such venues. But like the Sentinel wrote, isn't there more to being a major league sports city than just economic benefit? What about the intrinsic benefit? What about the pride and passion sports teams bring to a city? Ask Boston what it means to have its beloved Red Sox in the World Series in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, or any other reason to celebrate & be proud of your big home town city...

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    1. If one needs a sports team to feel any sort of pride in the place where you live, then they should probably look into moving to a proper city.

      As for the rest of the post, lol. Krokodil is bad for you, man. $2 billion return on the investment? Really? Because nothing says "guaranteed revenue-generating machine" like a freakin soccer stadium, right?

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    2. Well, it's obvious you don't know sports, and that you probably know more about Rush Limbaugh then about "rushing the goal". Though if the benefits of pro sports being played in our city bothers you this much to take time to rant on this "bullshit blog", then maybe moving to Ocala or Arcadia might be more suitable...

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    3. If you think that a soccer stadium, which will be competing against the Amway Center AND the Citrus Bowl (not to mention any of the live venues in Disney) for concerts and events; which will lie mostly empty when there are no MLS matches taking place; and will house a team in a league where the "away day" experience is nearly non-existent (outside of the Pacific Northwest, maybe), will be a multi-billion dollar pot of gold for the city of Orlando, then all power to you.

      You'd have to be in a permanent state of hallucination to actually believe such nonsensical claptrap, but all power to you.

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    4. I would argue:
      Kei's knowledge of sports > Dufala's knowledge of economics

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    6. Most "would argue":
      Governments knowledge of the real facts on progressive investment in city infrastructure > Noah & Kei's knowledge from what others report

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    7. Disagree. Term limits & high turnover have given sports leagues, lobbyists, and all sorts of special interests advantaged over politicians who may not be as knowledgable about the "inside baseball" as they used to be.

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    8. Again, most would agree that the overall information on the overall spectrum of building a stadium that politicians have access trumps the information yinz have on the economics of building sports stadiums. The problem is sports stadiums isn't day trading on Wall Street, it's an investment like most businesses that takes time to make the millions or billions in revenue, but we know, we know, all of us are wrong, because a couple right-wing columnist say so...

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    9. Who is a right-wing columnist?

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    10. "A couple-right wing columnist" along with the vast majority of economists encompassing all areas of the political spectrum, not to mention local watchdog groups, sports columnists, and any number of polls reciting suggesting that not only do these sports subsidies not pan out, but also that the public is slowly, but surely, catching onto that reality.

      I've said it before and I'll said it again: just because you Yinzers have blindly accepted this theory that stadium subsidies are "investments" for the cities that build them, and that they will actually pay off over time, doesn't automatically mean that everybody else has to subscribe to it. I know folks in your part of America have been dramatically dumbed down because all the iron and manganese in the water up there, but NEWSFLASH!!!1111 They're not investments as much as they're handouts to m/billionaire who have the wherewithal to build these venues themselves.

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  2. I have pride. I don't need a sports team to enhance it. If my city gives millions/billions of tax dollars to sports teams, it reduces the pride that I have for my city. Is your self esteem that low that if you don't have sports team that rip's off taxpayers you don't feel good about yourself? I guess people in Oregon, Iowa, Nebraska, Asheville N.C, Lewisport KY, don't have pride in their towns?

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    1. "i guess people in, don't have pride in their towns?", Newsflash! Those mentioned cities are some of the biggest college football places, and theirs a reason why almost everyone in the world has heard of Tampa Bay and not Lewisport, Ky. Though it's not "ripping off", it's investing in a cities future, there's big revenues made by having sports venues, and if your to blind or dumb to understand, then sorry for you. Also, do you think all these politicians vote for investing in sports because it loses money? I believe we would be just as dumb to think YOU know more then most politicians with the information they get on the matter !

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    2. Politicians vote for "investing in sports" because the team owners spend tons of money lobbying them, and sometimes even buying them off completely, in exchange for huge favors like, say, building new stadiums and arenas for them. To wit: http://westorlandonews.com/2013/10/21/did-jacobs-and-family-benefit-in-return-for-pushing-orlando-soccer-deal/

      It's precisely because sports fans are so passionate about their teams and their city that a sizable majority of them are opposed to their tax dollars going to said teams, as a form of corporate welfare. Building brand new sports venues, on the public dime, which only serve to turn our stands and bleachers into impromptu business meeting rooms, while pricing out the average fan, is an "investment" that benefits the entire community and its surrounding regions, because.........

      ?

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  3. I wish I could be excited about Orlando getting an MLS franchise. Like, I almost felt an inkling of a slight tinge of happiness when I heard about this yesterday… but I just haven’t gotten into OCSC at all, and that was before they started calling for a handout for their new ground.

    This is what gets me the most about this stadium deal… the team can easily match the expansion fee (which has been quoted at $70m, iirc), but they don’t have enough money to fund the stadium which would ostensibly be their domain? I know OCSC isn’t the first team in North American sports to do this, and certainly won’t be the last if MLS keeps expanding, but that bit just doesn’t add up to me. What’s it in for the city really, aside from the odd non-soccer event? (Which, btw, good luck trying to sell outdoor shows in the summer, when the humidity becomes unbearable and the skies fall down virtually every day.)

    The sentiment among their fans, who obviously backed the project unanimously, is that they think the TDT ought to be reformed so it can provide additional funds to our raggedy infrastructure, crumbling education system, and bare-bones police/fire units. They don’t realize that every handout like this (and the other downtown venues, mind) takes us further and further away from those reformes actually becoming a possibility. So long as there are stadiums and arenas to be built, the laws don’t need any changing, I suppose.

    But hey, there’s a silver lining to everything. At least Christian Bruey isn’t #Sad anymore.

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    1. Any non-soccer event there will just be taking events away from the Amway, city parks, etc. There likely won't be MORE events in Orlando because of this, other than soccer games.

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    2. Again you show your lack of understanding, though I think you do it on purpose...
      Events @ RayJay doesn't normally take away from the Forum, and the Forum often doesn't take away from the Amp., and the Al Lang doesn't take away from the Trop. Most events are different, and require less or more of a venue that makes one better suited then another like how concerts at the Amp are better suited there then the forum because it's cheaper to rent & offers a outdoor atmosphere, where the Forum holds more people & offers more capability to put on a better show. Though if anything was taking away from another would be Orlando taking away some events from Tampa in the Central Florida market...
      You know Noah, it's great "reporting" like so that will get you in CNN in no time, lol...

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    3. You're dead wrong.

      Does building a new venue make Britney Spears, Kenny Chesney, or the monster trucks add more tour dates? No.

      All of these venues compete against each other for the big acts, because they aren't going to play ten shows in Florida. There are a lot of events to go around, none of these major venues are booked solid - they all employ people to try and land the best gigs.

      For more reading: http://www.tampabay.com/features/music/st-pete-times-forum-facing-concert-competition-from-orlandos-new-amway/1162342

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    4. You said "Britney Spears", showing it's one of the only pop artist you know, lol! But thanks for making my point again for me that building a soccer stadium in downtown Orlando attracts "more events" away from TB which provides "more" value & revenue because of the decision to build it...
      But the theory that the MLS stadium "will just take away" from the Amway center isn't accurate...
      Nice try!

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    5. When all is said and done, there will be THREE sports venues within a one-mile radius in Orlando, all of which will have a capacity north of 18k. You also have to take into account the new performing arts center, plus the new UCF arena, AND any of the venues within Disney property that could host concerts and smaller-scale events.

      Where exactly does this new stadium fit in? This area is already oversaturated with concert and sports venues. The only hope it realistically has of attracting non-soccer/sports events is to fight off UCF and Disney, AND to start siphoning gigs from the Citrus Bowl and the Amway Center. You really think the Taylor Swift's and the Justin Bieber's of the world are gonna make that one extra visit to Orlando, on the basis of a new venue being built?

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