Category Archives: Convention.Centers/Arenas

Nationwide Arena: Control handed to private board

Source: Lucas Sullivan, Columbus Dispatch, May 20, 2012

Control of publicly owned Nationwide Arena has been transferred to a private, nonprofit board, a transition that could shield its operation from taxpayers and restrict access to public records. The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, created and governed by county commissioners and the city of Columbus, has given control of the arena to Columbus Arena Management, or CAM, the authority’s executive director, Bill Jennison, said. The management group consists of a four-member board that includes Columbus Blue Jackets president Mike Priest, Jennison and a representative each from Nationwide Insurance and Ohio State University. The group will operate in private, Jennison said, to allocate an estimated $250 million in casino-tax revenue that the city and county dedicated to the arena’s purchase and up-keep through 2039.

Is There a Smart Way for Cities to Privatize Parking?

Source: Nate Berg, Atlantic Cities, March 13, 2012

The Sacramento City Council voted recently to approve a plan to build a new downtown arena to replace the current suburban home of the Sacramento Kings…But with tight budgetary times facing the city, a $391 million arena project is also a particularly costly venture. To pay for it, the city’s going to have to get creative…So the city is considering a plan to either partially or completely hand over its parking assets to a private company in exchange for some of that cash up front. Officials estimate such a deal could raise more than $200 million….

…Monetizing the city’s parking assets is a critical element of funding the project, and officials like Dangberg are trying to figure out how best to undertake such an effort. If the parking privatization effort goes ahead, it would make Sacramento only the third major city to completely privatize its parking. The two others – Chicago and Indianapolis – have had wildly different experiences with their privatization schemes, paving an uncertain path for Sacramento….

Detroit crisis may force sale of crucial assets

Source: Darren A. Nichols, Detroit News, February 13, 2012

Pontiac sold the Silverdome, Wayne County got rid of golf courses, and Dearborn unloaded a senior citizen complex in Florida. Now, the city of Detroit’s most venerable assets — from Belle Isle to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel — could end up on the auction block as the city fights for its financial life….The process has raised concern among some city residents and community activists who are concerned the state is coming into Detroit to sell off its prized possessions to outside interests. In recent years, city officials have sought $75 million to sell Detroit’s portion of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, sought a lease for the Coleman A. Young International Airport to save about $700,000 a year and considered leasing parking meters….

Lawmakers advance bill to fine sports teams for not housing the homeless

Source: Tolu Olorunnipa, Miami Herald, Naked Politics Blog, January 23, 2012

Back in 1988, Florida legislators passed a law that would allow sports stadiums to collect about $2 million per year from the government to build new shiny stadiums that would increase economic investment and improve the quality of life.

Tucked into the statutes is an obscure homeless shelter provision…The law states that sports teams that accept taxpayer dollars to build facilities must house the homeless on off-nights, and lawmakers have brought it back from the dead in a pair of bills gaining steam this legislative session.

Senate Bill 816, which would make teams and stadium owners return millions of taxpayer dollars if they can’t prove that they’ve been operating as a haven for the homeless on non-event nights, passed its first committee in the Senate on Monday with a unanimous vote…

Cuomo wants private sector for $15bn infra plan

Source: Gerelyn Terzo, Infrastructure Investor, 05 January 2012
(subscription required)

New York governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on the expertise and capital of the private sector to help revitalise the state’s failing infrastructure. He also wants private capital to fund a new $4bn convention centre.
See also:
NY Gov Cuomo to NY Pols: I Don’t Have To Ask Your Permission To Build the Convention Center, But Let’s Work Together
Source: Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation, January 10, 2012

Sacramento arena plan still vague on details

Source: Dale Kasler, Tony Bizjak and Ryan Lillis, Sacramento Bee, Last Modified: Monday, September 12, 2011

Sacramento’s downtown sports arena still doesn’t have a financing plan.

But it now has the broad outlines of a program to raise the estimated $387 million needed to build the proposed railyard complex. At a gala unveiling Thursday, Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Think Big Sacramento task force offered up a smorgasbord of funding options that includes ticket surcharges, private investment, the sale of city-owned land and – perhaps most important – a quasi-privatization of city parking.
Sacramento officials start seeking bids for parking contract to fund arena
Source: Ryan Lillis, Sacramento Bee, January 10, 2012
Entertainment and Sports Complex Update and Parking Monetization
Source: City of Sacramento City Council, Report ID: 2011-01016, December 13, 2011
Advisory Services from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Walker Parking Consultants for Parking Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
Source: City of Sacramento City Council, Report ID: 2012-00050, January 5, 2012
Sacramento officials pleased by interest in parking deal to help fund arena
Source: Tony Bizjak, Sacramento Bee, January 20, 2012
Big cities cautious about privatizing parking after Chicago’s effort
Source: Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee, February 5, 2012
Editorial: Trend toward privatization needs the cleansing rays of sunshine
Source: Sacramento Bee, March 11, 201

Report shows P3 for Halifax convention centre costs more

Source: CUPE, Apr 30, 2010 11:31 AM

One of the consultant’s reports released today on the proposed Halifax convention centre confirms the P3 option would be the more expensive one for taxpayers.

CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “This confirms what we have been saying about this project.  The consultant has agreed with us that the public option is cheaper.”


Criterion Communications report


San Jose council softens goals for maligned convention center operator

Source: By John Woolfok,  Mercury News (CA), 11/17/2009 08:48:49 PM PST

Two years ago, a civil grand jury rapped San Jose officials for failing to hold the agency that runs the city’s convention center responsible for missing its performance goals and costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year. On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously took action: It lowered those goals.

City management has been negotiating the revised performance measures since the council in January granted Team San Jose a renewed five-year contract. Chief Development Officer Paul Krutko, who oversees the city’s new contract with the nonprofit to run the convention center and downtown theaters, said even the lower measures will be a challenge.

Audit: Bureau shouldn't oversee convention center

Source: By Christine Stapleton and Deana Poole, Palm Beach Post (FL), Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Convention and Visitors Bureau doesn’t provide adequate management and operational oversight of the convention center and shouldn’t oversee the $84 million county-owned facility, an audit released today concluded.

……. The audit report stopped short of calling for the county to take over management at the center. But the audit’s release comes just days before county commissioners are scheduled to debate the matter.

Convention bureau may be outsourced

Source: W. Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal, 7:00 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2006

San Antonio’s municipally operated Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has been without a permanent director since Melvin Tennant abruptly resigned nearly nine months ago. Some members of the hospitality industry are now using that fact to help convince top-level city leaders that the time has come to outsource CVB responsibilities to a new public-private organization. ….. In January 2001, long before the events of 9/11 changed everything in the tourism industry, officials here were flirting with the notion of privatizing San Antonio’s CVB. ….. There are a couple of ways City Hall can look to outsource CVB operations. One option being discussed is the formation of a convention authority that would offer better long-term funding security and still provide management plenty of autonomy. Another possibility is the creation of a tax-exempt corporation. Some local leaders say that model may prove to be the most practical approach.