Anti-Arena Campaign

User avatar
dangerboy
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 9029
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:28 am
Location: West 39th St. - KCMO

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby dangerboy » Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:54 pm

FYI, here are the anti-arena folks...

http://www.nonewarena.com/

The web site is brought to you by the Neighborhood Action Group ( http://www.kcnag.com/ ). A generally anti-anything operation.

mean
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10617
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:00 am
Location: Historic Northeast

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby mean » Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:19 pm

I am pretty much anti-arena, and even though that site takes it to a ridiculous extreme (the Flash is particularly stupid), they do make some good points.

"---from 1980 to 1995, the population levels in downtown areas in cities with downtown sports facilities declined more than in the other communities."


I haven't researched this, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true. It's definitely something to look into. We need people to live here a lot worse than we need people to visit.

I figure if we can rustle up $200 million, there has to be a project that will increase the population rather than have either no effect or a negative effect. That's 200 miles of skytran. ;)
"It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic." -- Ben Franklin

KCDevin

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby KCDevin » Sat Oct 04, 2003 10:37 pm

the website is very very stupid... I wished they had an email... The lowlives probably can't afford it lol

User avatar
QueSi2Opie
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3864
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 2:05 pm
Location: Hangin' with the cons, crazies, and crackheads on 11th & Grand.

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby QueSi2Opie » Sun Oct 05, 2003 3:43 am

I hope no one takes these morons seriously. Stadiums, arenas, theaters, opera houses, museums and attractions bring life to downtowns across the nation. These clowns obviously want downtown to remain a nice quiet neighborhood that it became in the late-70s.
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

I finally divorced beer and proposed to whiskey, but I occassionally cheat with fine wine.

mean
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10617
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:00 am
Location: Historic Northeast

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby mean » Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:16 am

It really pisses me off when people accuse me of not wanting progress, or not wanting downtown to succeed just because I think an arena is a dumb idea. I'm sure those guys are no different.

I love how these people are being dismissed out of hand. Has anyone actually researched their facts? That's what's important.
"It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic." -- Ben Franklin

User avatar
GRID
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 14056
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 12:20 pm
Contact:

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby GRID » Sun Oct 05, 2003 9:36 am

mean wrote:It really pisses me off when people accuse me of not wanting progress, or not wanting downtown to succeed just because I think an arena is a dumb idea. I'm sure those guys are no different.

I love how these people are being dismissed out of hand. Has anyone actually researched their facts? That's what's important.


I have extensively researched it, and found the exact opposite to be true.

I'm not into opra, but I know KC could use the PAC. I will probably never "live" downtown at least till my kids are grown, but I strongly support bringing lofts and condos Downtown.

I am however into sports, but regardless, I would think that anybody would realize that KC needs an arena. There is little chance we will get a decent brand of winter sports untill we build an arena, but that pales in comparison to all the concerts, NCAA events and conventions we miss out on, not only because of Kemper, but also because of lack of entertainment Downtown which a new arena should aslo bring.

But like light rail, people can't see the big picture and if it doesn't benifit them direclty, shoot it down. It's the KC way.

mean
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10617
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:00 am
Location: Historic Northeast

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby mean » Sun Oct 05, 2003 4:42 pm

I have extensively researched it, and found the exact opposite to be true.


So according to your research, arenas bring residents to an area? And if so, would you mind sharing your sources?

Seeing the big picture is definitely important, and I don't feel like many of the people here do in fact see it. Here's the big picture on downtown as I see it:

Downtown needs residents. That, above and beyond any other factor, is what will make or break downtown in the next decade. If we're going to spend huge chunks of cash to improve downtown, the first and only thing we should be concerned with is making sure people want to live there, and that once there they want to stay. An arena can not accomplish this, yet here we are pushing for an arena and claiming that other unspecified entertainment venues will magically appear, even if nobody lives nearby. I don't think so. Entertainment follows residents, not arenas (see Truman Sports Complex, Kemper Arena).

The big picture is that a dense concentration of people must live there, period. Everything else is secondary. With that in mind, we must be sure to select developments which will not make the area undesirable to residents. If building an arena will make people not want to live there, we as concerned citizens shouldn't want one. And even if it won't, we should make damn sure there aren't better things to spend $200 million on that can increase the area's desirability to residents. Once it's a hopping part of town, an arena is a lot less likely to have a detrimental effect. On the other hand, if an arena is likely to increase downtown's desirability to residents, we should definitely go for it with full steam...I just don't think this is the case. I have seen zero evidence that arenas draw residents (or do anything but turn people off) -- which is, of course, why I asked to see some.

The PAC is a different story. If it will turn more residents away than it will attract, that sucks, but it's mostly private money and thus not something I'm prepared to throw a fit about. Not to mention that the PAC will not be nearly as much of a noise / traffic / drunk driver problem, which indicates that residents will probably have a lot less of a problem with it since these are typical complaints about arenas.

Kansas City has a long and shameful history of downtown being dead except when conventions come to town. The balance of residential and touristy stuff must always favor the residents or this problem will continue unchecked. The big picture I see shows me that building a bunch of tourist stuff -- arena, PAC, et al -- before the residents and small businesses fill in is a gamble. Perhaps it's a good gamble, and we'll walk away a winner. But if it's not, do you really think the people of KC are going to have the energy to play another round? Or will they simply pick up their chips and move on to the next table?
"It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic." -- Ben Franklin

User avatar
trailerkid
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 11221
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:49 pm
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby trailerkid » Sun Oct 05, 2003 4:56 pm

I totally agree with mean.

The arena and PAC issues also deal with prestige. Downtown must host these venues to be the city's cultural engine. Yes, downtown must be a neighborhood first, but it also must maintain and expand its reputation as the destination for concerts, sporting events, the arts and overall Kansas City culture. Downtown must be appealing to current and prospective residents, but it must be a neighborhood with extraordinary attractions not found elsewhere in the metro.

mean
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10617
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:00 am
Location: Historic Northeast

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby mean » Sun Oct 05, 2003 5:31 pm

I agree that downtown should be a destination as well as a neighborhood, but I'm not sure I agree it should be the destination. Not until we get some transit up in here and start weaning people off cars.
"It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic." -- Ben Franklin

mean
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10617
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:00 am
Location: Historic Northeast

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby mean » Sun Oct 05, 2003 5:47 pm

Also, I feel I should mention that after reading KCNAG's site, I feel they make good arguments. They don't come off as "anti-everything" to me at all, in fact they come off as very rational. Their bit on TIF is especially interesting.
"It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic." -- Ben Franklin

User avatar
KCPowercat
Power & Light
Power & Light
Posts: 27677
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Quality Hill
Contact:

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby KCPowercat » Sun Oct 05, 2003 9:52 pm

wow, did they hire a 10 year old and a weekend to build that site?
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

Tweeting live from Big 12 tournament @downtownkc

User avatar
QueSi2Opie
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3864
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 2:05 pm
Location: Hangin' with the cons, crazies, and crackheads on 11th & Grand.

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby QueSi2Opie » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:20 pm

mean wrote:[Not to mention that the PAC will not be nearly as much of a noise / traffic / drunk driver problem, which indicates that residents will probably have a lot less of a problem with it since these are typical complaints about arenas.


Noise and Traffic downtown? How disgraceful! I'd be disgusted if I could no longer hear the crickets and locusts downtown at night!

I guess Westport don't want drunkards anymore, and now downtown don't want drunkards. I think KC should ditch entertainment venues that serve alcohol and become more like Salt Lake City. Are you mormon by any chance?

Seriously though, noise, traffic, and drunken entertainment is all part of every major downtown in the United States...except KC.
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

I finally divorced beer and proposed to whiskey, but I occassionally cheat with fine wine.

User avatar
KCPowercat
Power & Light
Power & Light
Posts: 27677
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Quality Hill
Contact:

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby KCPowercat » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:30 pm

Que...I live down here and experience all three every weekend :)
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

Tweeting live from Big 12 tournament @downtownkc

User avatar
QueSi2Opie
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3864
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 2:05 pm
Location: Hangin' with the cons, crazies, and crackheads on 11th & Grand.

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby QueSi2Opie » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:50 pm

KC wrote:Que...I live down here and experience all three every weekend :)


The crickets, locusts and the echoes of humming street lights?

Besides the early morning, lunch-time, and the afternoon on weekdays, there isn't much noise or traffic except when we have weekend conventions or concerts.

Of course you do live next to Broadway, so you have the Quaff, Tanners, Majestic, Convention Center and 12th Street Bridge (haunted houses) nearby.

It's funny, I've made more noise at the Quaff than any place in Kansas City. I've been there three times, and two of those visits resulted in fist brawls with druglord Mexicans. Unfortunately, I know many of them fools from the old neighborhood in downtown KCK, so I don't have a great reputatuion. It all started when I went to college to study Criminal Justice because I wanted to be a DEA agent at the time. I wasn't allowed to any more of their parties off 10th & Central. :wink:
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

I finally divorced beer and proposed to whiskey, but I occassionally cheat with fine wine.

User avatar
GRID
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 14056
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 12:20 pm
Contact:

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby GRID » Mon Oct 06, 2003 1:01 am

Mean, I agree with much of what you are saying, and have been yelling for residential as the number one goal for Downtown for a long time. I emailed Barnes way back when the Power & Light district still was a go and told her that her number one concern should be residential, everything else is second. This was before her 10000 units in ten years or whatever. She emailed me back and agreed. A lot of people feel this way. But should we let other projects slip away?

My research is on “recentâ€

User avatar
GRID
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 14056
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 12:20 pm
Contact:

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby GRID » Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:41 am

Here is some text coppied from an early draft. Some of the info is dated, but you might find it intereting. Remember, this is just looking at the sports side of things, and by no means does it say that residential should be not also be a major part of development or "the" major part of downtown development.

SPORTS FACILITIES AND THEIR POTENTIAL IMPACT ON A DOWNTOWN DISTRICT

Suburban sprawl and residential flight to the suburbs over the past several decades has had a negative impact on downtown areas. As the suburbs became more and more populated, retail and employment centers followed. Much of this suburban growth was at the expense of Downtown areas or other inner urban districts. Suburban residents have less and less reasons to make a trip downtown as the suburbs became self-sufficient. Suburban areas now offer more than the residential bedroom communities of the 1950‘s. Large office parks, shopping centers, hotels and even convention centers and entertainment districts in the suburbs now compete with their urban counterparts for much of the same residents, businesses and tourists. (KC Star “Divided as We Sprawl”).

The central cities of most metropolitan areas have been loosing this competition and the de-centralization of cities continued. Many Downtown districts bottomed out in the 1980’s as regional hubs of culture, entertainment, employment, hospitality and residential options. Cities began looking at new ways to redevelop struggling downtown areas.





Downtown Kansas City as recent as the 1950’s was a vibrant part of the urban core.





Sports facilities have become a more significant part of most downtown redevelopment plans. During the 1990’s and into the 2000’s, nearly every major city in the country has built or is building new sports facilities in their downtown areas. Smaller, second tier cities like Omaha and Oklahoma City that do not have major league teams, are trying to emulate the success of larger cities like Baltimore and Denver by building similar downtown facilities for minor league tenants. A few cities have even built large downtown stadiums without a tenant in place, hoping that the “if you build it they will come” theory will come true. St. Petersburg was one city that built a downtown baseball stadium before having a Major League Baseball team (ballparks.com). The new stadiums are usually part of a larger master planned mixed-use district with other entertainment venues, restaurants, hotels, parks, convention centers etc. that ties the sports structure to the urban fabric of a downtown. The new stadiums are also designed to be destinations themselves and offer entertainment options beyond sports even when there are no games going on.

Cleveland and Indianapolis, for example, have built sports facilities in their respective downtowns as part of urban redevelopment efforts. At the same time, Cincinnati and Columbus did not use sports as a key to downtown redevelopment. Cleveland opened two facilities in 1994 including an arena and a baseball stadium. Indianapolis opened facilities in 1974, 1983 and 1999. Columbus used retail and the restoration of a theater while Cincinnati used retail and the performing arts to assist in sustaining their downtowns.
Comparing these cities shows that building sports stadiums did not reverse the decentralization of Cleveland and Indianapolis, but did in fact slow the outward growth to the suburbs. Comparing the downtowns of all four cities from 1990 to 2000, it was found that the two cities with a pronounced downtown sports development effort had a better retention rating than the two cities that did not have a major sports component in their downtown redevelopment efforts. Columbus, which enjoyed a much higher regional growth rate than Cleveland lost downtown jobs while Cleveland gained downtown jobs during the same period. Indianapolis also gained downtown jobs while Cincinnati, like Columbus, saw it’s downtown employment and downtown market share in relation to the rest of the metropolitan area decrease. The success of Cleveland and Indianapolis keeping employees downtown or slowing the rate of employers leaving downtown shows that companies are choosing downtown over the suburbs more often now than before the sports stadiums were built.
Economic studies have shown that sports facilities do not promote regional or citywide economic growth (Sports & Economic Change). The building of downtown sports facilities do assist in the stabilization or growth the local economy of a downtown. Assuming that sports facilities do not promote regional growth, a community that wants to use public funds to build a sports facility may only want to shift the economic activity from one area of town to another area of town that is in need of redevelopment. Cities can then use this tool to sustain or enhance the centrality and vitality of their downtown districts. (Cities, Sports and Economic Change).
To capitalize on success of other sports projects, Cleveland has since opened a new NFL stadium and Cincinnati has recently completed building two new stadiums for that city’s NFL and MLB.

Downtown areas are now becoming more like amusement parks than just a center for commerce. Cities are increasingly looking at ways to grow a downtown economy outside the typical office building of the 1980’s. Cities are using creative mixed-use projects that include residential, office, entertainment, hospitality, sports, performing arts etc. to accomplish the goal of returning centrality back to urban downtown districts. These retail and consumption centers are now able to feed off, not only tourists and suburbanites, but also new downtown residents that are moving back into urban areas. Until the past several years, many downtown areas were only known as high crime and poverty areas. Now young professionals, dot-com start ups, empty nesters, and art galleries are all vying for the those same old industrial buildings that were scheduled to be demolished only years earlier. Cities are now trying to capitalize on this sudden demand for urban atmosphere to rebuild downtowns back into cultural and entertainment districts for their respective regions. Cities also hope that this investment in their downtowns will grow the economy and reputation of their city. Even though building downtown sports facilities may not generate regional growth and are usually heavily subsidized with public tax dollars, city leaders believe that the investment is worth the risk to return stability to downtown areas by bringing more residents, tourists and businesses back to the urban core. Building sports stadiums can also increase the visibility and reputation of a city as the city becomes more of a place people want to live and visit.
Sports facilities are not the only tool used to assist in redeveloping an aging downtown. Others include unique shopping districts, destination restaurants and other pubic structures like libraries and performing arts centers. Now more than ever, new sports facilities are built as a piece of a bigger project that includes other entertainment and cultural venues. These mega-facilities are expected to promote spin-off economic growth in other parts of a downtown area. Most cities are experiencing success with downtown sports venues. There are a few exceptions such as Detroit and Pittsburgh where success, so far, has been limited. Some of the cities have also experienced more of a homogenization rather than the urbanization of their downtown core with national stores and corporate logos. So the stadiums have to be carefully designed and incorporated into the urban character of a city to succeed. (Cities, Sports and Economic Change).


Existing Sports Facilities in Kansas City

Kansas City built a state of the art sports arena in 1974 and once hosted both an NHL and NBA team. The arena was expanded in 1996 and now seats more than 19,000. Several years after the expansion, Kemper Arena is used less now than before the expansion. ”The single biggest problem with the arena now is its location”, (Kevin Gray). The arena is located in the West Bottoms area in what used to be the stockyards. The arena’s lack of suites and other modern features found in newer arenas is also causing the arena to be skipped by many touring shows, concerts and sporting events. Suites are a primary source of income for touring shows and major league sports teams. Kemper Arena will not even be looked at by a major league team looking to relocate because of the fierce competition of other arenas in other cities that offer more revenue options for a that team to be successful . The outdated arena and its location have also contributed to the loss of several large conventions and hinders the efforts of the city to land new conventions and events. Conventioneers would have to be bused from the convention center to the arena and there are no hotels within walking distance. Restaurants or other retail options are extremely limited in the West Bottoms area as well. The Golden Ox, one of only a few restaurants in the West Bottoms has recently opened a second location in the suburbs, making it even less of a destination for locals. City leaders are realizing that regardless of what improvements are made to Kemper Arena, it will always be in a bad location and will not reach its potential in an isolated industrial setting.

Kansas City also built its baseball and football stadiums ten miles east of downtown, so the only sports facility in Downtown is Municipal Auditorium. Municipal was built in 1936 and can accommodate nearly 10,000 spectators in the arena portion of the building. This smaller, yet charming arena can not serve the arena needs of metropolitan Kansas City, but does offer the ability to compliment a larger arena by hosting events that do not need a full sized arena or host multiple events at the same time. This arena is attached to the Bartle Hall Convention Center via tunnels and has its own convention space and two theaters. The arena and adjoining Music Hall are scheduled to be renovated in the next few years and the National Association of Basketball Coaches will be moving their headquarters and building a museum in the building.
Although there are some positive attributes to building an arena at the Truman Sports Complex such as readily available land and the ability to share existing parking with Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums, building an arena Downtown near other convention and entertainment areas will be more beneficial to the city. With the exception of a few hotels and restaurants (typical of many suburban interstate exits anyway), the twin sports complex has spurred almost no development over a thirty year period. The Truman Sports Complex is a “drive to the stadium and then drive home” environment. Creating a mixed use development Downtown that includes an arena will assist in the re-development of a Downtown as has been shown in Columbus and other cities.

Existing Conditions of Downtown Kansas City

Downtown Kansas City is broken into many “districts” as shown in Figure 1. All of these districts are seeing major investments by both the private and public sector communities. All of these districts need to interact with each other to maximize their individual potential as separate districts and the overall potential of the Downtown area. The districts in the CBD or Loop also should connect with districts outside the Loop and beyond. See Figure 2 for a quick description of the five downtown loop districts.


Downtown Loop Area Districts (Figure 1)


Downtown Loop Districts (Figure 2)



The Government District has recently opened a new park, federal courthouse and large parking structure in addition to several other new and redevelopment projects. The government district is also hoping to lure the new Federal Reserve building.




The Financial District includes most of the multi-tenant office towers and some ground level retail such as City Center Square and Town Pavilion. There are several historic office towers being converted into lofts and condos in this area.



The Quality Hill District is the most mixed use district and has many lofts and apartments. DST has a large presence here and is responsible for most of the redevelopment efforts in the area. Kansas City Southern and the State Street have also built new buildings here. This area has many bars and restaurants and is the healthiest part of Downtown.




The Garment District includes the new Kansas City Public Library and the newly formed Library Lofts District as well as an extension of the lofts, apartments and offices that border it in other districts.




The Convention District consists of the Convention Center, Municipal Auditorium, many large hotels and other office and residential buildings. This district also includes the new Performing Arts Center, Bartle Ballroom, and is the chosen site for a new arena in this study as it contains one of the most blighted and under used land areas in downtown.
The Convention District

The Convention District could be considered the “living room” of Downtown Kansas City. The area is highly visible and contains many large scale venues that attract both locals and tourists to Downtown. The Convention District, as with the other Downtown districts, is seeing a lot of development and re-development. These developments include the new, 300 million dollar Metropolitan Performing Arts Center, a new 40,000 square foot ballroom that will be built over I-670, the renovation of the Power and Light Building block, the renovation of the President Hotel block and the renovation of the Kansas City Club Building. This District is also a top candidate for at least one new office tower and The Kansas City Star is building a new printing press just south of I-670 in this area. As mentioned before, the Convention District includes several large hotels including the 1000 room Downtown Marriott and the 400 room Downtown Doubletree. The City of Kansas City and the Area Transportation Authority are implementing the first phase of a bus rapid transit system that will link the River Market to the Plaza. This system will pass through the Convention District and have major stops there. See below for renderings of proposed projects in the Convention District.


The Metropolitan Performing Arts Center KCP&L Building Block renovation and addition



New Bartle Hall Ballroom President Hotel Block renovation and addition




The Kansas City Star Printing Press (south of district) Bus Rapid Transit

Redeveloping a blighted area of Downtown

An area that is no longer serving the community as was originally intended or land that is no longer efficiently being used as a productive part of the economy can be considered blighted. (kcmo.org)
There is one area of the Convention District that is in horrible condition. This area contains mostly surface parking lots, abandoned buildings and a few small businesses (see Figures 3 & Figure 4). This area is the location of several large scale projects that have never materialized, such as the Power and Light District. Due to the threat of eventual condemnation, this area has only decayed more. This large mostly vacant section isolates the built-up, western portion of the Convention District from other Downtown districts. This area could be transformed into an “Arena District” (see Figure 5) by building a sports arena and surrounding it with retail, residential and park space. “The park will provide a setting for new office, supporting retail and restaurants” (Sasaki Plan). The building of an arena would create an anchor or major destination in this struggling part of Downtown. There would then be several anchors of activity that would create corridors of activity between the anchors. Placing the Arena on the far east side of the Convention District allows for retail and other pedestrian friendly developments to be created between the arena and other large anchors in the Convention District such as the Performing arts Center, Municipal Auditorium and Bartle Hall. There are some structures in this area that could be restored into lofts or other uses. These structures include several multi-story and low-rise buildings, none of which are listed in the Kansas City Register of Historic Places. A new arena and or arena district should try and incorporate as many of these structures into the development as possible.

Convention District with potential arena district site Figure 5







Why build an arena?

“It’s a Catalyst…not a savior” Kevin Gray, President of the Kansas City Sports Commission said.
Kevin also believes that the people of Kansas City are in fact ready to support a new arena as they have passed several downtown bond and tax issues in the past few elections and have noticed that the city has fallen behind other cities in attracting and keeping high profile events and shows.
With the amount of investment being put into downtown as previously mentioned, building a new arena would be just another piece to the puzzle of bringing Downtown back to life. A new arena could add another 850,000 people to Downtown Kansas City on a yearly basis and that is if the arena only hosts minor league sports. If the new arena lures an NBA or NHL team, the numbers will go much higher. Kemper
Arena now draws about 650,000 and offers little spin off activity or development. Having these facilities within walking distance of one another would create an area that feeds off itself as there would always be reasons for people to be Downtown. Bartle Hall brings about 1 million people downtown annually and that will increase when the new ballroom opens. The new Metropolitan Performing Arts Center will bring an additional 200,000 visitors in addition to people already coming downtown for shows at other theaters such as the Midland or Lyric. All of these venues together will brings thousands downtown everyday supporting retail and other attractions Downtown. The residential population of Downtown is exploding with new lofts and condos being created on every corner of Downtown, adding hundreds of people to the Downtown area that will help create more of a “24 hour” city. Building an entertainment/retail district along with an arena would only increase these numbers more. The more there is Downtown and the more excitement these attractions bring, the more people will “want” to live, work and play Downtown, again increasing the attendance at all of Downtown’s venues until the market reaches it’s potential which in return would create the vibrant Downtown that everyone wants.

Denver, for example has seen the addition of thousands of new condos and lofts in it’s trendy new LoDo district (left) near Coors Field, a new MLB stadium. (KC Star). Denver’s LoDo area shows that people do want to live near sports facilities if the facility is part of the urban fabric of the city.
The city and the KC Sports Commission plan on using TIF, the Downtown Stimulus Act and other means for some of these projects to help financially support other projects. This would avoid having to ask for a sales or property tax increase which would not be popular with voters. Other alternatives include raising hotel or rental car taxes, but only as a last resort. For example, the new taxes generated by the retail district could help build the arena or new taxes generated by the arts center could assist in the building of parking structures for the area. Having a conglomeration of venues in one relatively small area also will increase efficiency of public facilities in the area. Parking garages could be shared by venues such as the arena or convention complex at night and used more for retail and office parking during the day. The city also wants to save Kemper Arena if a new arena is built and turn it into an arena specifically for the American Royal Complex. The American Royal Complex could then become one of the top equestrian
facilities in the nation bringing even more people and high profile events to Kansas City. Keeping Kemper Arena and renovating it to serve that niche market would also protect the investment the city has made in the area like the new parking structure and American Royal Complex expansion. Kansas City is currently doing a study to determine the feasibility of converting Kemper into other uses.
Spending 200 million dollars on an arena may or may not increase the overall revenue of the Metropolitan area, but it will have an impact on Downtown and assist in spurring other development and activity within the Downtown area. Building the arena in conjunction with these other projects will only increase the positive numbers for reviving Downtown and possibly growing the entire metropolitan area’s economy. Building all of these projects and revitalizing Downtown will also give the metropolitan area a better national image and make the overall quality of life in the city and its suburbs better. Many cities have built new sports facilities and redeveloped their downtowns. Most of these new sports facilities are designed with a “wow” factor to give a city an image or sense of place. “It has to be architecturally significant” (Kevin Gray). The photo above is the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, a city that also used a sports arena to assist in its downtown redevelopment efforts. If Kansas City truly wants a revitalized Downtown and a healthy metropolitan area, then building a new Downtown arena should be a part of that process.
See Figure 6 & Figure 7 for what how the Convention District could incorporate a smaller “arena district” into it and then how the Convention District itself would then better tie into the other Downtown districts. By removing the dead space and replacing it with a mixed use development and arena, the other districts that surround the Convention District will blend into the urban fabric of Downtown rather than be isolated as they are now.
Convention District with new arena (Figure 6)



Downtown Districts with new arena (Figure 7)


Columbus Arena District

Columbus built its Arena District and things have been rapidly changing ever since. Being in a situation similar to Kansas City, Columbus took a large chunk of unused land and created a master planned retail and entertainment district that used a sports arena as an anchor. Columbus built the $150 million Nationwide Arena as part of a bigger $500 million dollar arena district. Although most of it was financed with private money, most cities would not be able fund it this way. Nationwide (a major Columbus bank) had a vested interest in the downtown area and the reputation of the city.. Nationwide also already owned most of the property. A new Kansas City arena, as mentioned before, would need to be funded by some creative financing without having to ask for tax increases. The arena district has landed Columbus’s first major league sports franchise, the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL. The area around the arena district is seeing significant growth with the addition of a trendy restaurant row, new office buildings and, most importantly, residential construction. The 95 acre District includes an urban village, apartments, taverns, restaurants, office space and a park. This is exactly what could be used to fill in the underused land at the front door of Downtown Kansas City. The Arena District cleverly puts the parking structures away from the arena itself to encourage people to walk to the arena. These new pedestrians now help support the districts many new restaurants, stores and night clubs (Columbus Business Journal & Columbus Dispatch). This is why building the Kansas City arena at 14th and Grand rather than very close to the other large venues should be done. Incorporating a linear park that is lined with bars and other retail outlets will give people a pedestrian friendly corridor between the venues. If the venues were too close together, they would create too much dead space and not allow for the natural creation of support retail between the anchors. This linear park in KC would be one of several new parks that would create a Downtown parks system where these major parks would anchor certain districts of Downtown and then be connected to one another via bike and pedestrian corridors (Sasaki Plan).

Kansas City is much larger and more urban in character than cities like Nashville and Columbus and if they can do it, then KC should be able to.
“Downtown” Kansas City also has even more potential than the Columbus arena district because it would be able to co-exist with other high profile attractions and districts. The new 300 million dollar Performing Arts Center will be a major destination itself. The Bartle Hall Convention Center, with its newly expanded conference center and ballroom, along with the Municipal Auditorium and new arena will create one of the largest and most versatile convention complexes in the nation. Downtown would also gain a much needed retail district that would be supported by the millions of people that would visit the venues and or choose to live or work Downtown. Downtown’s primary retail threat, The Country Club Plaza, has become more mainstream with typical mall type stores. A void is developing in KC where the city is missing national chains like ESPN Zone, Niketown and Hard Rock Café. These stores would jump onboard a chance to enter the KC market if given a place to do so as KC is one of the largest cities in the country to not have many of these high profile stores and restaurants. Hard Rock for example has been trying to come to KC for years, but the Plaza was not interested and there are no other places they would want to go. A spokesperson at Hard Rock said they were ready to come to the Power & Light District before it failed. This new vibrant Convention District would also complement the surrounding districts that are already experiencing major revival efforts of their own. Efforts of Kansas City to redevelop and expand other major urban core districts like the River Market, Crown Center, Westport and the Plaza, plus investments being made to Union Station and 18th and Vine would also benefit from a new arena and its potential to help bring new tourists and residents Downtown. The Plaza has been With all the other investments the going on in Kansas City, a 200 million dollar arena becomes a rather small part, but still important piece to the urban core redevelopment puzzle.

New Downtown Baseball Stadium (some personal ideas)

Let’s take it one step further. Why put 200 million dollars into Kauffman Stadium and get little if any spin off development when you can spend 250-300 million on a new Downtown ballpark and add another 2 million people to Downtown yearly? As mentioned before, the Truman Sports Complex, although an awesome complex has yet to create much of a development boom at I-70 and Blue Ridge after over thirty years of events. The complex is designed to get you on and off the freeways and it will always be like that. Sports alone will not create an urban atmosphere. Building a Downtown Stadium would also help the small market Royals stay in KC due to the economic situation of MLB and having MLB in KC is very important even if it is subsidized by the local taxpayers. KC is too small to demand the owners pay for it and if KC lost it’s major league teams, it would hurt it’s economy much more than if Boston lost it’s teams. Basically, I believe that if KC wants to be a major league city, than people will have to pay a little more to subsidize the stadiums here than in other larger cities. Renovate arrowhead and keep it out there. It’s only used a dozen times a year and we have to have room to tailgate. A downtown football stadium is too much dead space too often unless it could be built in a more isolated environment like the river front. I think it should stay where it’s at though for costs reasons and to keep a major attraction in that area of town. Tear down Kauffman and recycle as much as possible into a new ballpark like the seat, fountains, scoreboards and sound systems. Build a soccer stadium in Kauffman Stadium’s place and build a massive youth soccer complex surrounding the parking lots of Arrowhead in county owned, undeveloped land. Put a new stadium on southeast of the Downtown Loop and tie it to the rest of Downtown via a new Truman Parkway to the emerging SoLo District and Arena Districts. The stadium could also help tie Downtown to the 18th and Vine District via the new Parkway and also simply have 2 million baseball fans a year five blocks from the Baseball Museum. Finally, construct a light rail system to connect Downtown to other parts of the urban core and beyond.

mean
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10617
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:00 am
Location: Historic Northeast

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby mean » Mon Oct 06, 2003 1:13 pm

having MLB in KC is very important even if it is subsidized by the local taxpayers.


But it's such bullshit. Team owners and their buddies who make all the millions off the teams should be responsible for building and maintaining these facilities. I mean, what next? If rich and famous people move to KC are we going to buy and fix up their houses for them just so we can impress people by telling them Liv Tyler lives in KC? Come on! That's patently absurd.

Having major league teams is cool, but it is not worth subsidizing. We lose more money than we make, people...pro sports leeches money from the economy. We pay to build and upgrade their facilities, pay to promote them by buying their shirts and hats, pay to see the game / concert, pay to park our car nearby, pay outrageous prices for beer and hotdogs, and it's all justified by telling us that it's "good for the city". Yeah, right. It's bad for the city, bad for the economy. The ONLY reason to subsidize pro sports is because we want to. All the word twisting and statistic flubbing needs to get gone already; no arena will bring in more money for the city than is spent on it by the city. Ever. To believe otherwise is pure economic fallacy.

Which isn't to say we shouldn't build one. If the city decides it's worth the money, we should go for it -- despite the impression I give off, I am actually PRO arena under other circumstances -- but I am quite tired of hearing fallacious economic justification from the mayor and her highly paid focus groups. Frankly, pro sports today are little more than massively expensive corporate welfare. People don't like to hear that, but it's true. Just look at the facts. The system has been set up to get as much money from you and me as possible, while the players and the folks up top rake in the cash. It's kind of sad to see the citizens and fans get raped, and not only enjoy it, but beg for more every year.

But I digress. No amount of logic, reason, or discourse is likely to dissuade the pro-arena folks from wanting their status symbol.

And regarding the copy/paste job, whoever wrote that needs a sharp stick in the eye and a brief lesson in Econ 101. If I were feeling ambitious I'd take it point-by-point, but I'm pretty sure there's not much, er, point to doing so.
"It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic." -- Ben Franklin

KC0KEK
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4854
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2002 6:23 pm
Location: Neither here nor there

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby KC0KEK » Mon Oct 06, 2003 1:30 pm

mean wrote:
having MLB in KC is very important even if it is subsidized by the local taxpayers.


But it's such bullshit. Team owners and their buddies who make all the millions off the teams should be responsible for building and maintaining these facilities. I mean, what next? If rich and famous people move to KC are we going to buy and fix up their houses for them just so we can impress people by telling them Liv Tyler lives in KC? Come on! That's patently absurd.

Having major league teams is cool, but it is not worth subsidizing. We lose more money than we make, people...pro sports leeches money from the economy. We pay to build and upgrade their facilities, pay to promote them by buying their shirts and hats, pay to see the game / concert, pay to park our car nearby, pay outrageous prices for beer and hotdogs, and it's all justified by telling us that it's "good for the city". Yeah, right. It's bad for the city, bad for the economy. The ONLY reason to subsidize pro sports is because we want to. All the word twisting and statistic flubbing needs to get gone already; no arena will bring in more money for the city than is spent on it by the city. Ever. To believe otherwise is pure economic fallacy.

Which isn't to say we shouldn't build one. If the city decides it's worth the money, we should go for it -- despite the impression I give off, I am actually PRO arena under other circumstances -- but I am quite tired of hearing fallacious economic justification from the mayor and her highly paid focus groups. Frankly, pro sports today are little more than massively expensive corporate welfare. People don't like to hear that, but it's true. Just look at the facts. The system has been set up to get as much money from you and me as possible, while the players and the folks up top rake in the cash. It's kind of sad to see the citizens and fans get raped, and not only enjoy it, but beg for more every year.

But I digress. No amount of logic, reason, or discourse is likely to dissuade the pro-arena folks from wanting their status symbol.

And regarding the copy/paste job, whoever wrote that needs a sharp stick in the eye and a brief lesson in Econ 101. If I were feeling ambitious I'd take it point-by-point, but I'm pretty sure there's not much, er, point to doing so.



Exactly. How many persons and companies decided to move to or leave a city because of the presence or absence of a sports team? (If anyone wants to challenge my assumption, please provide links to scientific studies -- not anecdotes or self-selected polls -- that argue otherwise.) I moved to KC for a job, and even though I'm a hockey fan, the presence of the Blades and the absence of an NHL francise didn't even factor into my decision. When a company decides to leave or stay, they look at factors such as the labor force, quality of schools and infrastructure, not whether they have an opportunity to buy a suite.

Anybody who would seriously consider leaving because the Royals left, please raise your virtual hand. Really? Please describe how you'd explain your logic to your kids, significant other or potential employers in a new city.

User avatar
QueSi2Opie
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3864
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 2:05 pm
Location: Hangin' with the cons, crazies, and crackheads on 11th & Grand.

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby QueSi2Opie » Mon Oct 06, 2003 6:10 pm

KC0KEK wrote:Anybody who would seriously consider leaving because the Royals left, please raise your virtual hand. Really?


My wife would want to leave KC. Me on the other hand, I could care less about baseball. Although it would give me a tiny inferiority complex because our city would be slipping out of "Big League" status. I'm sorry, but if you truely love KC, you'd want to keep your big league sports...as well as your symphony orchestra, ballet, convention center, art museums, etc.

As far as going back to the "noise, traffic, drunkard" factor. Would an 20,000 seat arena that housed an indoor soccer team, team tennis, possibly a minor league hockey team or an arena football team actually make much of a difference? It's not like these sporting events even draw 20,000 a game! It's not like building a baseball stadium (2-3 times larger than an arena) or football stadium (3-4 times larger than an arena) in downtown. If we did happen to get an NBA or NHL team, that'd be an added bonus. The main thing is we get back the popular NCAA tournaments and attract the best concerts which draw visitors regionally. Like the arguements I heard in other forums, these events attract tons of tourist dollars for the cities hotels, restaurants, museums and public transportation system (especially after bus rapid transit is in place). That is a fact!
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

I finally divorced beer and proposed to whiskey, but I occassionally cheat with fine wine.

JBinKC
Strip mall
Strip mall
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2003 4:29 pm
Location: Plaza/Westport
Contact:

Anti-Arena Campaign

Postby JBinKC » Mon Oct 06, 2003 7:22 pm

Lets be honest here, Kay Barnes has to make this thing work financially and economically (or at least appear to) or it will not happen. Yes, this is a feather in her cap, but its a big step forward for downtown KCMO too. The purpose of this arena is to be an economic catalyst, not a money maker itself. Will the arena be a cash cow? Doubtful. Will it bring people downtown who wouldn't otherwise be there? Absolutely. Will these people stop by businesses before and after events and spend a few bucks? Definitely.

Furthermore, the business of our municipal government isn't to make a profit...its job is to make its citizen's lives better. The arena probably won't make the city any money. That's not its job. Its supposed to entertain Kansas Citians and bring people back downtown. Its an investment in the surrounding neighborhoods, the infrastructure, and the life of the city.

As for professional sports, are they a necessity? No. Is the opera a necessity? No. Is the zoo a necessity? No. Does their profitiability match the enjoyment they provide...probably not. Having stadiums and arenas in a town is just another part of having a well rounded, cultured city. The PAC couldn't be built by the symphony's earnings alone. Union Station can't support itself, yet we all want it there.

I know many think it is ridiculous to pay for a sports/entertainment facility that benefits a privately owned organization, but guess what, major league sports are a limited commodity, and if one city isn't willing to support it there are 5 others willing to do so. So then the question is how bad do you want to be a major league city. I hate to say it but the demands of these franchises is their way of charging the city rent for their services to entertain the masses and keep the people happy. They're just fulfilling demand.

Nearly the same could be said for the college tournements, concerts, national shows, and other big events that are planned for the arena. If we can't support them in KC, then OKC or Omaha will gladly take them. The mayor has said most of this over and over, but that alone is not good enough for the Show Me citizens of KC. It has to make sense economically in order for us to approve anything, so that is what Ms. Barnes is attempting to do. Who knows maybe she actually will make this thing work.

Its scary to think of this city without sports. The Royals and Chiefs(along with skyline) put a face on this city. Almost without fail, everytime I travel someone who doesn't know much about KC usually mentions A) BBQ B) The Chiefs C) The Royals. Sorry, its sad but true, but outside of nationally televised games and scores, KC doesn't get a lot of national cred. Not everyone cares about it, but personally I watch as many Royals and Chiefs games as possible and would be heartbroken if one of them left. That may sound ridiculous, but I bet you there are more people in this city that feel the same as I do than those that don't.


Return to “Downtown Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests