By: Diane Benjamin
Mark Peterson – Normal’s City Manager – talked to WGLT yesterday: http://wglt.org/post/public-private-partnership-lacking-establish-sports-complex#stream/0
Peterson thinks taxpayers should pony up $20-$30 million for a sports complex!
The total cost will be $50 million, but it’s not a Public-Private partnership. He doesn’t say where the rest of the money will come from or who will be paying the bills until the complex is abandoned.
Dave Stark is of course involved – his land was in the original soccer presentation. The Mitsubishi boon never happened, so somebody needs to take it off his books.
This complex will be unused most of the time. Kids won’t be playing games during school. Outdoor games aren’t played with snow on the ground.
Maybe tournaments will be played every weekend during warm weather! Who profits?
Hotels and restaurants – all LOW wage jobs. Maybe Peterson is looking at the City taxes that will be collected. Of course, they will go to paying off the bonds that must be issued to pay the $20-30 million. Since Metrozone was dissolved Bloomington would collect more of the taxes, so Normal can’t afford to move forward without Renner.
In reality – taxpayers will lose. They are responsible for paying the difference between hotel-motel taxes plus food and beverage taxes and the bond payments.
If nobody buys food and stays all night, you will pay. Property taxes collected now probably won’t be if government owns the land. Bonds probably can’t be sold unless they do own it.
Quality of Life!
This is what they mean when you live in Illinois: government plans – you pay.
Tari Renner has mentioned an indoor ice rink. Union labor will temporarily profit building it. When that is completed they will need another government job. What’s next? Union rates to plant grass and trees for all the fields? Oh, forgot a parking lot that will soon look just like the roads. Maybe it can be gravel instead of a solid surface.
Don’t take my word for this being a bad idea:
The argument is frequently made that all the visitors coming to spend money at and around sports events will produce enough economic impact to pay for the stadium. This argument falls apart when you realize two key points: economic impact is not the same as tax revenue and when evaluating such events you must account for visitors’ budget constraints.
Rockford built an indoor sports complex downtown for a little over $24 million. They also sold the naming rights for $175,000 per year to start.
See this article from 2015 before construction: http://www.rrstar.com/article/20151112/NEWS/151119805
Then this article on the first event: http://www.rrstar.com/news/20160604/thousands-fill-uw-health-sports-factory-in-downtown-rockford-for-first-tourney
Their Convention and Visitors Bureau uses the same bogus rhetoric:
“The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates an economic impact of about $115,000 from the downtown tournament.”
ROCKFORD — The number of people using the UW Health Sports Factory in the five months since it opened was down slightly from projections, but officials are confident the new athletic facility will become one of the city’s top attractions.
At least Rockford’s is indoors where it can be used all year.
That confident sounds a lot like what is said about the Coliseum. Tell them when taxes get lowered in Bloomington because of the gazillions of dollars of economic activity they claim it generates, we can talk.
Until then, government is planning theft from you so a couple thousand kids can play soccer without having to buy their own field. Theft is not only criminal, it’s immoral.