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March 25, 2016

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It's not true anymore that folks who live in the suburbs only come downtown for the games. Some people, maybe, but there's a lot of stuff in general going on downtown. The same people who come out for a game in any of the stadiums or arenas drive out of downtown as fast as they drive in. They do lots for the sports owners but not so much for downtown businesses or vitality, short of the parking lots or sports bars.

You can't field bad teams in any sport and expect people to come see them, so the decision to create a businesses just to get sports traffic biz, not a good scenario.

Once again, the Diamondbacks alienate me, a long time baseball fan. When the team opened play in 1998, I enjoyed listening to local radio play by play. Early 2000's was interesting baseball.

Then came Ken Kendricks. He dropped Luis Gonzalez, a perennial favorite of local fans in 2006. Changed team colors in 2007 from the distinctive purple, black, teal and copper colors to red, brown, and black - tried to rename red as sedona red but red is red. 2009 he hired a little league manager. 2010 he abandoned Tucson as spring training site.

2010 - present, Kendrick finally showed some good sense in hiring Kevin Toers, Kurt Gibson, Tony La Russa, and Chip Hale --- sound baseball managers with respect for baseball tradition. And I began to listen to broadcasts again.

Now Kendrick is running stupid once again by talking about dropping the stadium lease. Guess I can stop listening. I planned to go watch a Cardinals - Diamondbacks game end of April but probably not. I do not need to support extortion.

Why do I get the sense ....... that none of you are fans of local teams anyway !!!!! Gives you another reason to whine!!

"The city already suffers from one-third of its population in severe poverty."

YES, and an additional 40% of the city's population is in average poverty.

All beaten down with hope of only low wage retail employment.

A very sad place in which the auto centered lifestyle insulates the rest from the ugly reality on the ground.

Who will have to take a "bullet" for the rest of us this time?
John Q. Public has to step up and say not hell no but hell no and no fucking way do we tax ourselves again for the benefit of sports moguls.
Chase Field is only 18 yrs old and certainly not out of date.

I just returned from a week in Boston. How old is Fenway Park? It is revered as a civic treasure there. It is located right downtown in what may the most difficult town in America to drive in.

MLB might not be able to pay the obscene salaries to players if they had to provide or even take care of their facilities

As Cal said in the previous thread "follow the $$$$"

I'd be interested in knowing what these "current and future maintenance obligations" are. Skyboxes? Lavish corporate suites? It takes brass (base)balls to engage in such naked extortion. Let the bastards pay for their own place of business, like the rest of us do. Not only should Maricopa County tell them "hell no," they should suggest that the Diamondbacks not let the door hit 'em where the dawg shoulda bit 'em. As for the so called Cactus League, it's become the same surge (scourge?) pricing eight dollar beer gouge as the regular season.

You write:

"This is shameful extortion by a wealthy ownership group."

What if the costs should indeed be paid by the Stadium Authority under the terms of the lease?

I am a Dbacks fan, even dropped the Dodgers to go with the home team. Field of Schemes link to piggy back on your fine column:

http://www.fieldofschemes.com/2016/03/25/10825/diamondbacks-owners-to-taxpayers-give-us-blank-check-to-upgrade-18-year-old-stadium-or-well-sue-to-move/

"Now, there’s one small problem with the D-backs threatening to bolt Phoenix: They have a lease that requires them to stay put through 2028, and prohibits them from even talking to other cities until 2024, a la the old Tampa Bay Rays lease. To get around that, the team owners repeatedly cite the need to maintain a “state-of-the-art facility,” something they say the county is failing to do by not spending that $187 million for upgrades to such things as lighting, improved luxury suites and scoreboards, and enhanced video surveillance. The problem with that is that the county doesn’t appear to have actually put a state-of-the-art clause into the Diamondbacks’ lease..."

Seems some people believe the rich before they will believe their gub'ment.

I supported one if my favorite teams today with native locals by attending the ceremonies and festivities of the Yaqui's in Guadalupe. Great dances and rituals and food and people. And old miltant agnostic Cal even attended a Yaqui/Catholic mass. The festival continues through the weekend. Enjoy.
Better than a football game anyday.
Sports lost me when it became PRO. Pro thuggism.

Dude! Yaqui basketball in Guadalupe! Gotta love this conversation!

Tom G, You probably also enjoy chasing little white balls around on green imported grass. As I recall I think the first Arizona golf course was a sand lot in Douglas.
I played basket ball in the 50's in gyms so small there were no bleachers and if you touched someone, it was called a "foul". But now we have thugs seeing who can deliver the biggest blows. I will admit I have watched documentaries of Michael Jordon's abilities but then he was an acrobatic ballet athlete that played basketball. And the Yaqui's could have done without europeans and basketball.
And I lived in Arizona when Women's softball was hot.
I will not miss PRO sports.
But how can one survive without fry bread and beans?
Hasta Luego.

This is pretty much what happens in any society, capitalist or otherwise, where culture is confused with popular culture: more resources ( and propaganda effort) flow to the most well-attended entities. In a way, it's democratic, at least until you get to the small percentage of Americans who just don't like to watch the most popular sports. I believe the public should kick in the same amount for sports stadiums as it does for museums, libraries, parks, and other public venues. After that stipend is gone, maybe the team owners should look to the fans to pay for it at the gate. You can argue that sports arenas are critical to keeping downtown alive, and it's civically responsible to support them, but if that's the major draw to a downtown, you still pretty much have a dead, uninteresting downtown, and you still pretty much feel like you've been blackmailed or sold a lemon.
By the way, remember when "Madison Square Garden" drew the rubes from barrio and suburb alike to watch Tito Montez and The Baby Blimp perform Olympic-style feats of athletic prowess?

What's not being reported on is the massive number - $187M?! I've read for "upgrades" and "maintenance and repair" - two very different things. I think the cost to build the thing was in the $300M range.

There have been hush hush rumors for years that the stadium has serious construction defects that may be unrepairable.

Did someone say fry bread and beans?

At this point, both Chase and, to a lesser extent (because of its frequent programming), USAC have outworn their welcome in downtown. They served their purpose in getting Phoenicians to go downtown again and open their eyes to a city center that may not be Chicago or NYC, but is safe, clean, and filled with other attractions and reasons to come back aside from a ball game.

Both were atrociously designed and overparked, serving as fortresses that kept the public from the blight that is/was the Warehouse District, instead of being catalysts toward its revitalization as should have been the case. The dearth of investment in adjacent areas like Colliers and Jackson Street are fairly strong evidence that those who come to these games/events leave right after. With the City's idiotic Sunburst 'escape' plan in place, and this is all but guaranteed.

Both groups continue to make anti-downtown decisions in spite of keeping their teams there. Sarver demolished some of the last remnants of the SRO hotels that should have served as a transition into the Warehouse District, but is now a parking lot. The Diamondbacks, rather than engage the surrounding cityscape, recently added a "food truck plaza" internal to the stadium and brought in big names like Michael Levy to cater the stadium. These aren't decisions that foster a thriving downtown boosted by the presence of sports fans.

Downtown lacks civic stewards, yes; thus how a building like Circles could be so endangered. Downtown lacks a powerful sector of employers/HQs, yes. But, the dozens of condo and apartment projects nearing completion will infuse the city with the population it has been talking about for over a decade, and for a downtown that is already on the verge of a tipping point due to the investment of the local creative class in some really great and unique businesses, move-in day should make threats of bullies like the DBacks feel pretty empty, IMO.

James, U Think?

"The desert was always there, a patient white animal,waiting for men to die,for civilizations to flicker and pass into the darkness".
From Ask the Dust by John Fante

Phoenix reminds me of Birdie Sanders, slowly being eaten by "Manunkind".

I have already heard some rumblings - both 'didn't we just pay for the stadium?' and 'if they would field a winning team instead of being such cheapskates they would have better crowds.' Of course most of the local news media is on the Dback owner bandwagon, claiming the county is not holding up their end of the bargain. But the fact remains that according to the original agreement, the team manages the facility and is therefore responsible for upkeep, which is what the $187m tab is for. The county is willing to pay for capital improvements. The team also wants to reduce its rent from $4m a year to $200k a year - I'm sorry, outrageous, considering they pay that to some of their mediocre players.
I've been to games, and watched games on TV in the last two years where there were so many empty seats I'm surprised they didn't try selling them for 1/4 of the price just to get people in the stands. But as long as you field an inferior team, you can't get fans to buy in. You change the team colors, who wants to buy new gear in the "new" colors that look like a quarter of the other teams in baseball? Of course baseball is a business but in the last 5 years they've made a habit of trading away the most popular players (except Goldschmidt) and keeping players who are barely above AAA level.
If they move the team to the suburbs, I won't go. Sorry, I don't live there, and I'm not getting on a freeway to see mostly mediocre baseball.

Most suburbs have learned from the Glendale debacle,so that leaves the Indian Reservations and I don't think they will let the white man screw them again.I watch most of the games I see on TV so hasta luego,D-Backs.

As I recall, a few of the highlights of the Colangelo regime were announcing they were raising the ticket prices on the very first "fan appreciation" day, completely unrealistic attendance estimates, a bunch of deferred money contracts, and devaluing the original investors' shares.

Hell of a businessman, that Jerry.

LoL- the people are appallingly stupid. This is the same Kendrick bunch that was just showing off their multimillion dollar baseball card collection, while boasting of their connections to dark money.

They are welfare queens, pure and simple, and any other thought proves you must be dreaming- I am talking to you inphx.

As for Jerry, phfffft. What they did as the ownership group was pathetic- they should have kept their foot on the gas, and gone for full seats instead of "more revenue from season tix holders".

They failed elementary economics, because their short term considerations wrecked their long term financial ability.

The stadium negotiation is simply extortion, and should be rebuffed.

Go ahead, attempt to get the SRP tribe to borrow for $800 million to build a stadium, uh no. Wait until the Tourism and Sports Authority goes bust, then it all blows into dust.

It all just makes me tired. I have not been to a d-backs game in years, and now the same quick buck demand pricing bushwa is ruining spring training. It will be interesting what they blame next year for the decline in the 2017 attendance. It will be because of pricing.

Sports in America is a badly run big business dependent on corporate welfare.

Eff 'em.

So much of America deserves Trump, so we can get our fall over faster.

So much idiocy, so little time.

concern troll, try OC wise guys.

Troll:

Why did HRC take money from Goldman Sachs for speaking fees? Because that's what they offered.

Why do wealthy sports owners get stadium deals from government agencies?

Because the agencies let it happen. They are children dealing with wealthy, sophisticated, motivated, crafty businessmen who embarrass them at every turn.

If the Dbacks find another place to place, just what will Phoenix do with Chase Field? More tractor pulls? Pro wrestling?

Governments paying for these stadiums is beyond stupid. But because government agencies love to be created and/or expanded, they sit down with owners and get hosed time after time after time.

"Why do wealthy sports owners get stadium deals from government agencies?"

Because wealthy sports owners exercise "free speech" as defined by the right wing US supreme court and make unmitigated political contributions and other financial inducements to politicians.

Yes, the sports owners are crafty businesspersons.

CRAFTY BUSINESS AND POLITCIANS? My Ass. Come on guys they are just outright criminals. These guys just get richer and richer while a guy robbing a market for 50 bucks gets 10 years in prison. In both cases the general public pays the costs. It's time for some rich financial folks to go to jail and pay for thier own incarceration. Madoff was just the tip of the criminal financial wall street world.

And I'm for making Jefferson to I-17 and 7th Street to Central part Desert Botanical garden, part organic growing fields and part open reptile park with lite rail throught so us humans can walk and ride around while viewing rattle snakes basking in the sun next to a Sajuaro.

And what's wrong with a tractor pull contest. I enjoyed watching those old one lunge John Deere's out pull the Cases and FarmAlls.

LoL- inphx, you are such a child- because lobbyists buy the folks who make the government agencies, and then make sure they are staffed with willing persons.

DD just makes dark money obvious, but the fix has been in for quite a while in Arizona, and your blinders on it are quite obvious.

Bought and paid for lobbyists elect the legislature with contributions- which then votes to tax the people for payback to their biz interests.

The Roman client state model, and you ain't rich enough to be on the inside, or you would not be commenting here.

Ask Chuck Coughlin, who has been cut off from his clients and now finds himself powerless and adrift- frustrated at his lack of power.

My crocodile tears are showing.

INPHX apparently believes government agencies appear out of nowhere. Another example of magical thinking from the political right in Arizona.

As INPHX writes, government should not be funding professional sports stadiums at all. The takers, AKA crafty businesspersons, won't let that happen. More cuts to education and healthcare seem to be no problem however for the Republican Arizona Legislators and Governor.

70% of the public is against the county funding the upgrades, according to PBJ.

There is a ton of positive press out there on downtown Phoenix right now, and one only needs to take a walk between McDowell and Fillmore, 7th Street to 7th Avenue (+ Grand Avenue) to see that the investment is happening where the remnants of a breathing city remained. If they let you through without swiping a SunCard first, walk past the ASU sell-out district between Fillmore and Van Buren, and you'll find that the only areas with any sign of $ are - again - the most urban: Monroe and Adams, two of the best blocks left in all of downtown, are experiencing a renaissance, while the Warehouse District is attracting a ton of interest from IT, tech, and creative businesses for the first time.

111W Monroe has gone from Class B wasteland to nearly fully occupied with well-paying STEM jobs, and a 100% leased ground floor line-up of non F/B retail. US Bank is getting a marketplace similar to the Union @ Biltmore, while the Renaissance Hotel is getting a facelift that - while it won't bring back the glory of the original Adams Hotel - will actually engage the street, modernize the cheese grater facade, and is all but 1,000 square feet leased.

While I lament the conversion of the entire Warehouse District into one that will shut its doors at 5pm (as I think it has much more potential than that to be a mix of uses), after sitting empty since its agricultural peak, I can't complain about a forward-thinking medical center opening in the Sun Merc, a Dental Training Institute bringing guests in from around the country every month at the old Jackson's, Galvanize - a school for web developers - joining WebPT in its renovated space on Grant...

Meanwhile, what exactly is happening in and around the stadium and arena? ::crickets::

Good posts by Concern Troll.

I was a huge sports fan growing up but the older I get the less interested I find myself. It's all so commercial, and incredibly expensive. It used to be affordable entertainment, and now it is a luxury good.

There is, simply put, too much money in it.

Despite all of the above, the sports themselves are still interesting to watch, but it's hard to filter out all the dross and drama and enjoy the product. I guess you just have to enjoy the moment and not get caught up in anything else.

Honestly, I kind of think cities may be better off without pro sports. You can still watch what you want on television, but you don't have to subsidize it, you avoid all the local drama, and (ideally) your city's time and energy are focused on more worthwhile pursuits.

Cal !!!
I'm still fired up about the Yaqui Festivities in
Guadalupe!!!! Especially since across the street from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Guadalupe is the San Diego Bay Restaurant ( Mexican Seafood to die for) !!!!

George good posts on downtown.

Tom G. I got sick last time I ate there.
However Nash the 80 plus year old redheaded Mexican Mormon barber still has his barbershop by the restaurant and is still lifting weights in his barbershop when it's slow.

PS we had a good time at the Yaqui festivities and my law enforcement old Buddy from my PPD and DEA days was there as he is a Yaqui native of Guadalupe, AZ. And I attended Mass in the old church which is of historical interest to me and my friends.

Tom G a clue, I have two ex, native American, wives. Mexicans and Spaniards dominate in my relationships.
Para mi, Los Morenos. Not Midwest gringas.

In the era of partnership/syndicate team ownership, Kendricks is only doing what is expected of him by the partners. When there is talk going on about possibly finding a new location for the Coyotes, or even a new Suns facility, why wouldn't DBacks ownership want to make sure they get in on the gravy train? They'd be dumb not to. As always, the real culprit here is the various levels of city and county government who continually invite this sort of treatment because, like a girl who can't protect her virtue, they can't say "No".

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