Want to talk about your favorite places besides Kansas City? Post any development news or questions about other cities here.
The city built a massive 1,200 stall parking garage(covering an entire city block and 7-8 floors of parking) for UP. There are underground tunnels for the UP employees, which is obviously really bad for the activity downtown. Omaha did pretty much anything they could to keep UP downtown.
Creighton set a new record for attendance at the CenturyLink Center over the weekend ... Brad Williams caught the scene (pink with a breast cancer event going on)... they hit 18,400. Creighton is flying high ranked #12 (RPI 14) right now... although it's no doubt more a statement on Omaha being a relatively large market with no other basketball options to speak of which now has Creighton drawing an average attendance which is placing it in the -top 10- in the nation (likewise, the UNO Maverick hockey program is drawing some of the largest crowds in the country as well). There isn't a school anywhere near as small as Creighton drawing this kind of crowd.
FangKC wrote:It's interesting that both New York Life buildings are built on a similar grade as well. It would be interesting to see the restorations of the buildings and how similar, or different, the buildings are today. For example, the Omaha Building has an outdoor roof deck behind the eagle sculpture.
The interior court was filled in on both buildings. The Omaha Building has a tall, open atrium in that former courtyard space. I've never been in the Kansas City New York Life Building. Is there an atrium there as well, or did they connect all floors?
I've not been in the Omaha NYL Building but spent many years in the one here. The atrium is open. We had some teak furniture on the deck behind the eagle and would occasionally have employee events there. And move meetings out there on nice days, if we didn't require technology. It was a great space. I always felt claustrophobic above the 5th floor though. Each successive floor was smaller. By the time I got to 9, it felt like the ceiling was right over my head.
I was fortunate to have a north-side cube with a perfect view of Wheeler (around the flash cube). When the blimp was in town it was fascinating to watch it take off and land. And, when the planes started arriving for the air show it could be scary - but in a good way.
Possibility of an NBA D League team in Omaha
Omaha World Herald wrote:Ralston's mayor and other city officials will travel Wednesday to Denver to pitch a plan to bring a development league team affiliated with professional basketball's Nuggets to the city's new arena.
Mayor Don Groesser said discussions to draw the development league team to the Ralston Sports and Event Center had been under way for as many as three months, and Nuggets officials asked the Ralston contingent to offer a presentation on the potential deal's finances.
It is not clear whether the Nuggets are considering other cities for its affiliate.
"I don't know of any," Groesser said.
The 3,500-seat arena is under construction near 72nd and Q Streets. It is scheduled to be completed in October.
The $32 million arena will be the home of the Omaha Lancers, a United States Hockey League franchise, and the Omaha Beef, an indoor football team.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to lease the facility. It will be the home court for UNO men's basketball.
Joining Groesser on the trip is Curtis Webb, the arena's general manager, and its marketing director, Lynn Higginbotham. Walter Peffer, a city consultant on the arena, will also be in Denver.
Lingerie Football League coming to Omaha
Omaha World Herald wrote:Something called the Lingerie Football League is coming to Ralston's 3,500-seat arena next year.
Not much description is required here: leggy women in pads, bras, panties and little else strap on hockey-style helmets to duel in seven-on-seven arena football games.
The new Ralston franchise, which doesn't have a name yet, will play two home games at the $32 million Ralston Sports and Event Center, joining tenants that include the Omaha Lancers hockey team, the Omaha Beef indoor football team and the University of Nebraska at Omaha men's basketball team.
Left in the wake of Thursday's announcement were members of the Nebraska Stampede, a fully-padded — and fully clothed — women's semiprofessional team that has struggled to make ends meet playing football in the Omaha area for three seasons. The Stampede's next game is 7 p.m. Saturday at Ralston High School's Rams' Field.
“From my perspective, it's really frustrating that this is the reality in our society,” said Tina Johnson, who serves as general manager and starting fullback for the Women's Football Alliance team. “Sex sells, and it always will.”
“If they want to go out there and play in their lingerie, then by all means, that's their power,” Johnson said. “I just wish we could get that same kind of respect with our clothes on.”
Last year, 80 percent of Ralston voters approved a $29 million bond issue to fund arena construction.
A five-member state board that included Gov. Dave Heineman also unanimously approved state financing to allow a portion of sales taxes generated in and around the arena to help pay off the project's debt.
Ralston Mayor Don Groesser referred questions about the lingerie league to Curtis Webb, the arena's general manager.
Webb said the league approached Ralston about bringing a team to the area.
He said that prompted officials to examine whether the team would fit the local demographic and the venue's goals. After talks with Ralston officials, Webb said, the city decided to try the idea.
“We're kind of taking a stance of we can try the two events, see how it goes, and if it doesn't make sense for us then we wouldn't move on with it down the road,” he said. Webb declined to say how much the lingerie league will pay Ralston for its time in the arena.
“It's a good deal for the city from a revenue standpoint,” he said. “It's our job to meet a budget.”
City officials have worked to bring other sports events to the arena. Last month they revealed efforts to attract a developmental team affiliated with the NBA's Denver Nuggets.
The facility near 72nd and Q Streets is expected to be finished in October.
The Lingerie Football League started as a pay-per-view programming alternative to the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004, and eventually secured enough funding in 2009 to launch a full-contact league — with teams such as the Los Angeles Temptation and Philadelphia Passion.
Previously, the league largely tried to expand to major media markets on both coasts. The league says its move to the Omaha area is its first venture into “the Heartland of America.”
The league's expansion here comes days after officials announced the LFL would forgo its 2012 season and delay games until next year to accommodate a spring and summer schedule.
League promoters encouraged prospective fans to submit suggestions for team names, and touted the fact it would host a May Combine to give local athletes the opportunity to “lace 'em up and compete for the coveted Lingerie Bowl title.”
While the lingerie concept has been rebuked by women's groups and some attempts to establish other franchises have faltered, the league says its business model has found great success.
After three years in business, the LFL claims it's the country's fastest-growing sports league and the most successful female sports organization.
“We're in the event business, and we want to make sure we're providing diverse entertainment, but in a professional way so we can grow and the building can grow,” Webb said of Ralston's decision to bring in the team.
Ticket information for Ralston's lingerie team will be released in May.
Meanwhile, the Stampede will play its final two home games of the regular season at Ralston High the next two Saturdays, likely in front of sparse crowds.
Their players will not be paid.
Tina Johnson's father, Rex, is the team's head coach. Her older sister, Beth, is personnel director for the 36-woman active roster. Limited budgets and long seasons are common for the team.
They don't seem to mind.
“It's just really frustrating that our girls really struggle to get by, season by season,” said Julie Johnson, the family matriarch and team volunteer.
Say what? I'm pretty socially liberal, but I can't help but feel like more of sleeze when I go to Hooters (when working on the road) than when going to a strip club, much less shelling out cash for a lingerie football game. Maybe it's because it's bright and my face can be seen... Maybe it will work, who knows.
Catching up a bit... old news in Omaha, but the former Northern Natural Gas building (before Enron) has sat empty throughout the turn of the century (basically caused the demise of one local bank, unable to get a sale)... finally was bought by a couple, well known in Omaha for their residential renovation projects (Nustyle Development). They will take the NNG building and convert it into the 'Highline', consisting of ~200 apartments. Work has been underway for several months now.