The 'Ville Voice header image 1

Downtown Arena Gets More Unfortunate Press

April 28th, 2011 by jake · 18 Comments

Does everybody hate the arena downtown?

From Yahoo! Sports:

The Oakland Raiders get a new, ridiculous stadium name

Other than the brief reign of Land Shark Stadium, the NFL has largely avoided the rash of absurdly named arenas that have plagued other sports like baseball and college basketball (I’m looking at you, KFC Yum! Center.) A new deal to rename the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is set to change that.

Sure, maybe the joint is just gonna cold bankrupt our city or whatever. And the name may be silly/embarrassing. But it’s a pretty cool facility, right?

Tags: Arena · Sports

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 The Highlander // Apr 28, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Friends: Let’s not show our provinciality. Get in a plane and travel the nation. There are facilities, JUST AS NICE AND NICER, all over America. Check out Staples in LA or AmAirlines in Big D or Conseco in Indy or Bridgestone in N’ville or Charlotte’s new one etc, etc. And NONE OF THEM have a main tenant taking a huge revenue stream into a ‘charity’ — 501(C)(3) that is non-taxable – or in other words the “local collegiate athletic club.” We’ll all wake up, soon. Oh yes, 21,000 at Elton John = gross of $2m @ AVERAGE ticket of $100. John takes home $1m. What is Arena’s NET. Show us the figures.

  • 2 Paul Jason Puckett // Apr 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Forgetting the peripheral issues for a moment, you’d be hard-pressed to find a “nicer” arena than The Bucket.

    The Staples Center, probably so (and it should be). And yes, I’ve been to Indy and Nashville; Conseco is still kind of the standard, but there’s no way Bridgestone is better than Yum).

    By the standards of the day it seems, the one’s in Dallas, DC, Chicago, SLC and Boston are now “old.”

  • 3 Paul Jason Puckett // Apr 28, 2011 at 11:35 am

    As far as jacked up corporate venue names, my vote goes to the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre in Tampa.

  • 4 The Highlander // Apr 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    PJP: Get on a plane. The SDF airport is just across from the KFEC on the Watterson XWay. Not too far from St. X and a little further from Trinity’s campus. Dallas, DC, Chi-town are Old!!! I guess Miami’s is ready to be torn down as is San Antonio’s and Portland’s Rose Garden. Come on. And, Oh, by the way, when you make your visits to other city’s arenae, ask for their financials.

  • 5 kycdxx // Apr 28, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    “when you make your visits to other city’s arenae, ask for their financials”

    Would that be at Will Call or should I ask an usher?

  • 6 Paul Jason Puckett // Apr 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    First, the airport, that’s the big building with planes flying around it, right? I’ve lived in Louisville for 35 years; I never would have known.

    Second, as plainly stated in my original post, I’m not talking about the financing stuff. That had nothing to do with my point.

    Third, seeing as how you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, let’s look at some actual facts:

    Verizon Center in DC is 14 years old. United Center in Chicago is 17 years old. TD Garden in Boston and Rose Garden in Portland are 16 years old. American Airlines Arena in Dallas is 10 years old. EnergySolutions Arena in SLC is 20 years old. AT&T Center in San Antonio is 9 years old.

    Charlotte’s should be nice, it’s the second “youngest” of the current NBA arenas at 6 years old while the newest arena is in OKC at 3 years old.

    My point is, in this day and age of “They’re already building a new arena/stadium? Didn’t they just open this one?” that a lot of these buildings would be considered “old” in the minds of many.

    Granted, I’m sure you would have done the research to find this out…

  • 7 The Highlander // Apr 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    JP: You know what it means — really. A lot of their bonded indebtedness is paid off. Louisville’s isn’t. They are in a position to compete at a much lower price for rentals than are we — because their debt service is substantially lower. Additionally, NO ONE considered Freedom Hall old in the mid-1960s — as a matter of fact THAT was it’s heyday hosting repeated NCAA Final 4s.

    I know when they were all built. It means nothing because ours is new. We’ve convinced ourselves we’re ‘wonderful’ because we did something that should have been done 15 years ago. So we did it — but NONE OF THE SUCCESSFUL Arenae have EVER donated huge sums of $ to a non-taxable 501c3 organization. It’s just plain comical.

  • 8 Paul Jason Puckett // Apr 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Feel free to debate the financial situation all you want with whomever you want; it had nothing to do with the point I was making (see “Forgetting the peripheral issues for a moment,…”).

    I was speaking strictly from an aesthetic/amenities standpoint.

    Of course the Yum! should be awesome at this point in time, it’s brand new, and therefore is much better than the arenas in Chicago, Dallas, DC, etc, that are over a decade old. And unfortunately, the Yum! will probably be considered obsolete by 2020.

    As far as Freedom Hall in the 1960s, it was still considered state-of-the art at that point, but that was a whole different era before arenas required suites, 50×50 HD scoreboards and PSLs to exist.

  • 9 Steve Magruder // Apr 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    “KFC Yum! Center” is just a really, really, really bad name. It is disrespectful of the city’s and UofL’s identity and heritage. At least Papa John had the common and community sense to allow “Cardinal” into his stadium name.

  • 10 The Highlander // Apr 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    JP: I give up. You continue to assert that Yum is the nicest arena (which is a matter of your opinion) and I keep stating that its beauty or lack thereof (as some say it appears to be a xerox machine) is unimportant. The important fact is whether it’s going to pay for itself — and it isn’t because of the way it was structured from a business standpoint. We differ as you’re into aesthetics and I’m looking totally at whether the public has a boondoggle on its hands. We’ll let the readers decide which concern is of more significance.

  • 11 Bill // Apr 29, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Honestly, no one in this community is going to reap the benefits of clean sightlines, aesthetics, etc if you can’t make the payments on the bonds. No one is going to give a crap about what type of arena one has when the city and the arena authority is going to have problems making the bills that will for pay for the place. Granted, its an awesome facility but its also brand new and just out of the box. Give it 5 to 10 years and the new wears off and then you’ll start seeing the feathers fly off the KFC Yum Center.

    Its kind of like buying a Corvette or even a Ferrari or just buying a Kia. The first two are extremely fast and expensive cars and the last inexpensive, but the other two aren’t going to do you any good if you can’t afford the payment on the principal and interest. As much as I would love to have a Corvette or Ferrari and burn up the Watterson Expressway or Gene Snyder, its not practical on my budget.

    Recently both of our sister cities Indianapolis and Cincinnati both of which have more population and resources than Louisville have had problems paying for the their stadiums which were built in more prosperous times. In fact, Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis was built in 1999 and Lucas Oil Stadium was finished in 2008. However, Indy never was able to totally pay off the bond and indebtedness from the Hoosier Dome later called the RCA Dome. So in essence, the citizens of that city are paying for two football stadiums and one of which is demolished and the current bond won’t be paid off until 2014 or so.

    Cincinnati also went on a spending spree of nearly 700 to 800 million dollars for both Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ballpark which were completed in 2000 and 2003 respectively. However, they are also feeling the fiscal strain of two large payments and each of those Metro areas are at least 500,000 to a million more in metro population than even Louisville, suburban Louisville, and Southern Indiana.

    Sure, Host made everything look great. He really glossed it up to put lipstick on a pig in a poke that we would be paying for 30 years. Look up the real math that involves the KFC Yum Center and then get back to us. You’ll find that the bonds on it are going to leave us in a shortfall as well. 3.3 million that might have to be made up by the local taxpayer. At a time of 10 plus percent unemployment, falling wages, falling home values, and a stagnant at best economy.

    All this takes is to do the math and to realize that if they can’t get enough revenue for the arena and enough profits, they aren’t going to be able to pay for the bonds and indebtedness and guess who gets stuck with the bill of goods.

  • 12 The Highlander // Apr 29, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Bill: Maybe your enlightenment will help inform those like Mr. Puckett who seem to be caught up in the myth of Host. The huge mistake here was giving away all the revenue streams. It should have been a COMMUNITY arena that encouraged ALL SORTS OF USAGE AND DIDN’T LIMIT IT BY CEDING CONTROL TO THE LOCAL ATHLETIC CLUB.

    Should have been able to seek the Big 10 and SEC and OVC championships each of which would bring millions of dollars to the city — but no it had to be something exclusive for the Cawdinals. What a shame. No NHL team. No NBA team. Rent too high for Bellarmine to use is. Any competition for the Cawdinals is eliminated.

    Not just a mistake — its ridiculous.

  • 13 Steve Magruder // Apr 29, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Let’s say that Louisville taxpayers have to end up paying for what some call a boondoggle. Wouldn’t that be a double-slap on our faces with the arena not bearing the name of our city or UofL’s team? We might have to pay for a cynical corporate name? It’s quite a disgusting notion.

  • 14 The Highlander // Apr 29, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Bill: Another disturbing point. The $3.3m shortfall you’ve noted is a LITERAL ‘drop in the bucket.’ There’s NO WAY there’s a sufficient revenue stream for a gross income of more than $25mm, because over $15mm has been given away to UofL. Soooo. With a $33mm p & i annual payment and a $10-11mm annual operating cost deducted from the $25mm gross income — you do the math.

    Wonder if Host, Ulmer, Patterson, Comb-over and Tommy Turtleneck and all the UofLites on the Arena Authority will give back the money to the community. Don’t hold your breath.

  • 15 Paul Jason Puckett // Apr 29, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Jesus tap-dancing Christ. I’m not caught up in ANY myth and I’m getting sick of YOU typing words from MY keyboard, as well as insinuating that I’m some local Cletus that’s never been outside of the Jefferson, err, Snyder Freeway.

    I was simply responding to a very specific point in your original post (“There are facilities, JUST AS NICE AND NICER, all over America.”). My point is that as a brand new facility, AT THIS SPECIFIC POINT IN TIME the Yum! Center by default is nicer than the older facilities you named in your original post (other than Staples). That is all.

    As mentioned by Bill, the odds are the Yum! will come back to the pack once the new-car smell wears off.

    Next thing I know you’ll be giving me list of 10 private colleges and telling me they’re state schools, and that The University of Georgia was smart to hire Centre’s president…

  • 16 The Highlander // Apr 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Mr. Puckett: The University of Georgia sure was smart to hire Centre’s president.

  • 17 Paul Jason Puckett // Apr 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Please tell me you’re being sarcastic.

    If not, do me a favor: Read the book “Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia” and let me know if you still feel that way.

    Even Novena agrees that Michael Adams’ tenure as president of UGA is checkered at best.

  • 18 Charlie // Apr 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    U of L originally wanted an arena on campus or at the exposition center but was compelled by the city leadership to occupy a downtown arena. U of L should and will reap the rewards of going along with the deal, as well it should. A tremendous arena and if we taxpayers have to help, I’ll do so gladly. One of the best uses of my tax money ever.

google

couk