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Old 12-06-2007, 06:23 AM  
BigRedChief BigRedChief is offline
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Bannister Mall: the new home of the Wizards. Watch KC screw this up.

KC will screw this up. They had Bass Pro ready to go in abut they didn't want to give them TIF. Just what tax revenue are they getting now from that area? It's a wasteland.

http://www.kansascity.com/business/story/391605.html

Funkhouser opposes Super TIF for Bannister Mall redevelopment


By KEVIN COLLISON
The Kansas City Star Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser said Wednesday that he opposed extraordinary tax breaks to help the Bannister Mall area redevelopment plan — incentives that backers say are vital for success.“It’s a wonderful project. I’m ready to sign off,” Funkhouser said at a development forum where he made a public appearance early in the day. “But I can’t stomach 23 years of Super TIF.”

Funkhouser later elaborated in a statement saying that while he was “excited” about the prospect of redeveloping the vacant mall property in south Kansas City, he wouldn’t support the $43.5 million in Super Tax Increment Financing being requested as part of the package to help finance the development.
Under Super TIF, all rather than just part of the local taxes generated by a project are diverted to help defray eligible costs.

The ambitious Three Trails redevelopment proposal, valued at almost $1 billion when fully built over 10 years, calls for a mixed-use development anchored by a new stadium for the Wizards professional soccer team. It would include a 12-field tournament-style soccer complex; a 250-room hotel; 609,000 square feet of retail space; and 610,500 square feet of office space.

The developers are seeking $273.3 million through a variety of local and state tax incentives to help finance the project.

“I want to see the Three Trails redevelopment happen,” Funkhouser said. “But I don’t intend to support the current plan without more thorough discussion and, at least, the removal of the Super TIF requirement, which redirects 100 percent of any new property, sales and earnings taxes back to the project.”

The development group backing the project, which includes top executives of Cerner Corp. and Lane4 Property Group, contends that Super TIF is needed to fill a financial gap for the project.

It remains unclear what effect Funkhouser’s position with have on the development group’s pursuit of the project at the Bannister Mall site. The developers have sought a decision by the Kansas City Council by the end of December to meet a construction timetable that calls for the soccer stadium to be open by spring 2010.
Project backers, who have considered alternative sites elsewhere in the area, could not be reached for comment after Funkhouser’s statement.

Besides the use of Super TIF, Funkhouser also objects to the plan’s provision that the city own the soccer stadium, saying it would require long-term expense and attention.

“The construction of the city-owned Sprint Center required a new tax and public vote, yet we are considering this plan with neither,” Funkhouser said in his statement. “I want to be sure we have thought through that decision and its fiscal impact on the city.”
The mayor’s announcement threw a new twist into a discussion that already had gotten off to a poor start earlier in the day.

At a meeting of the council’s Finance and Audit Committee, at which dozens of people testified, most favored the project. But Chairwoman Deb Hermann postponed a recommendation on the project after becoming frustrated by widely differing economic impact estimates submitted to her panel.

The city’s Finance Department issued an analysis indicating that the city would have a $41 million negative impact over the 23-year life of the project’s proposed financing. An analysis by the Economic Development Corp., in contrast, indicated a $45 million net benefit over the same period.
Both groups use different ways of evaluating the economics, and Hermann decided to seek additional time to sort out the issue.

Her committee has one more meeting scheduled before the end of the year.

“You just can’t give me a scenario with an $86 million swing,” Hermann said. “I’m not a financial expert. That’s why we have a Finance Department.”

Further complicating matters, Councilman John Sharp, a strong supporter of the Three Trails project, said Funkhouser had received a letter from state officials stating that any state aid for the project was contingent on the city’s granting the Super TIF assistance.

The project seeks $20.7 million in state tax-increment financing and $10 million in state tax credits.
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
That area is a wasteland. What is soccer going to do for it? Seems pretty flipp'n stupid to me.

The only benefit will be the fields and stadium for their limited use.. Guess what most of the local kids will not be able to play there..They are going to use those fields to draw in kids/leagues from outside the state, not the kids from around the metro area...

Funny how the Star leaves that out most of the time.. Most of those businesses that go in will be vacant also within a few years..


And I am starting to wonder about the STARS angle on attacking Funk on every decision.. It is sad that the Pitch is 10x the newspaper then the Star with investigation articles...
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:53 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Cochise
IMO, they need something like this that will draw people in to spend money from other parts of the city. You can't just put in a bunch of new retail shops like some other people want to do, all the retail business got run out of the area already. I don't think the neighborhood economically can support much. Hell they closed a Walmart, when have you ever seen a walmart close?

The Wizards would be better off with an intimate, soccer-specific venue and the neighborhood would be better off without the corpse of what used to be sitting there vacant.
I thought they just relocated the Wal-Mart, which would make a lot of sense considering the state of things for years.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:08 AM   #18
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There are plenty of other cities where soccer teams are doing well in their own soccer-specific venues. I don't see why ours couldn't do the same. Even if you don't like the sport, don't go, but having a successful franchise operating in your city is a good thing.

And the game is entertaining to watch. You're a d-nozzle IMO if you choose not to like something because you're afraid someone is going to call you a p#ssy for it. If you don't like it, fine. I realize it's not a fast food sport where you get a score and 5 commercials every 5 minutes.

What I think is flawed in the idea of opening up some new shopping down there is that the area has gone way downhill. It's not the early 1980s anymore, there isn't any retail business there because people don't have the money to support it.

I remember going into the Best Buy that used to be there, before it closed down, and it didn't look like any best buy you'd ever seen. If I remember right you had to ask for a key to the bathroom. You could tell they had a problem with theft there and everything else.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
That area is a wasteland. What is soccer going to do for it? Seems pretty flipp'n stupid to me.
Hopefully the same thing a race track did for WYCO...

on a different scale, of course.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
There are plenty of other cities where soccer teams are doing well in their own soccer-specific venues. I don't see why ours couldn't do the same. Even if you don't like the sport, don't go, but having a successful franchise operating in your city is a good thing.

And the game is entertaining to watch. You're a d-nozzle IMO if you choose not to like something because you're afraid someone is going to call you a p#ssy for it. If you don't like it, fine. I realize it's not a fast food sport where you get a score and 5 commercials every 5 minutes.
I've been to a Wizards game - took all 3 of my daughters. I was moderately entertained but not enough to spend money to watch. Thankfully the tickets were free. I somewhat understand the draw of larger sports and why they qualify for tax breaks but what is for all intents and purposes a fledgling league shouldn't be able to bend our city over backwards for a stadium. That's ridiculous. How many soccer leagues have flopped in this country? I'm totally against any plan that gives soccer a free pass to tax benefits at this juncture.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:52 AM   #21
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A 23 year tax exemption is CRAZY. That development will be dead in 23 years, leaving the city with no revenue stream from the deal.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
IMO, they need something like this that will draw people in to spend money from other parts of the city. You can't just put in a bunch of new retail shops like some other people want to do, all the retail business got run out of the area already. I don't think the neighborhood economically can support much. Hell they closed a Walmart, when have you ever seen a walmart close?

The Wizards would be better off with an intimate, soccer-specific venue and the neighborhood would be better off without the corpse of what used to be sitting there vacant.
no that was a HYPERMART, a now called superwalmart but yes... i was shocked when i drove by on the way to the "Whales Vagina" and KC game.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
I've been to a Wizards game - took all 3 of my daughters. I was moderately entertained but not enough to spend money to watch. Thankfully the tickets were free. I somewhat understand the draw of larger sports and why they qualify for tax breaks but what is for all intents and purposes a fledgling league shouldn't be able to bend our city over backwards for a stadium. That's ridiculous. How many soccer leagues have flopped in this country? I'm totally against any plan that gives soccer a free pass to tax benefits at this juncture.
I'm not a huge fan of TIF myself, I was just saying, it's popular to beat up on soccer but it's possible to appreciate it entirely. It's not at the level that it is in Europe, but the league is WAY ahead of where it was 10 years ago.

I think with the changing demographics in this country, soccer is going to become more and more popular, maybe at the expense of things like the NBA and NHL.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:24 PM   #24
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How many people attend Wizard games?
Around 10,000 per game; more if we're doing well.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
I'm not a huge fan of TIF myself, I was just saying, it's popular to beat up on soccer but it's possible to appreciate it entirely. It's not at the level that it is in Europe, but the league is WAY ahead of where it was 10 years ago.

I think with the changing demographics in this country, soccer is going to become more and more popular, maybe at the expense of things like the NBA and NHL.
NBA - naturally, let them keep acting like hooligans (SP?) and striking. i didnt mind letting go of MLB once they did it...

as for NHL..its a pain to get it on TV....what do the fools running the NHL think? we get enjoyment by osmosis? if they play it we can learn to hate or enjoy it.

Soccer will continue to grow, no harm no foul. as with NHL though....they need to televise it a bit more so it makes fricken sense
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:27 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
I've been to a Wizards game - took all 3 of my daughters. I was moderately entertained but not enough to spend money to watch. Thankfully the tickets were free. I somewhat understand the draw of larger sports and why they qualify for tax breaks but what is for all intents and purposes a fledgling league shouldn't be able to bend our city over backwards for a stadium. That's ridiculous. How many soccer leagues have flopped in this country? I'm totally against any plan that gives soccer a free pass to tax benefits at this juncture.
The problem with soccer in this country is that it's entirely different than the soccer they play overseas. There aren't nearly as many spectacular players and plays, the game is much, much slower and there isn't the ESPN-type of coverage.

That being said, I think the league is getting better. And if you don't like soccer, that's fine, but it's only going to become more popular as immigrants settle in here.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:37 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock
The problem with soccer in this country is that it's entirely different than the soccer they play overseas. There aren't nearly as many spectacular players and plays, the game is much, much slower and there isn't the ESPN-type of coverage.
The game isn't played at the same level, that's for sure. The skill of the players in MLS isn't of international caliber. But the league has to begin somewhere, and it is getting better.

I like watching the (English) premier league matches I can see on cable. And a few months ago I was in Dublin, in a bar full of people watching Liverpool/Marseille, and it was fun. I had friends there that didn't like soccer and said they were enjoying watching it.

A lot of our enjoyment of sport is enjoying it with the people around us. The hurdle is getting that ball rolling.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:39 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock
The problem with soccer in this country is that it's entirely different than the soccer they play overseas. There aren't nearly as many spectacular players and plays, the game is much, much slower and there isn't the ESPN-type of coverage.

That being said, I think the league is getting better. And if you don't like soccer, that's fine, but it's only going to become more popular as immigrants settle in here.
So what you are saying is we are being taken over by foreigners. Count me among the non sports fan if Soccer becomes preeminent in this country. I simply cannot get excited about 60 minutes of 1-NIL football. The only thing more annoying than that, is the ref being the only fool in the stadium that actually knows when the freaking halves are over with.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:41 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
I've been to a Wizards game - took all 3 of my daughters. I was moderately entertained but not enough to spend money to watch. Thankfully the tickets were free. I somewhat understand the draw of larger sports and why they qualify for tax breaks but what is for all intents and purposes a fledgling league shouldn't be able to bend our city over backwards for a stadium. That's ridiculous. How many soccer leagues have flopped in this country? I'm totally against any plan that gives soccer a free pass to tax benefits at this juncture.
Many soccer leagues have flopped in this country and yet it's still one of the top participated sports as far as youth in the country. Johnson County has one of the highest per capita ratios of players to population in the country. As such, funding a new stadium that will also serve as a marquee for top tournaments and exhibitions is a good idea. It likely will never be as popular as the NFL in the US. Likely won't be as popular as baseball either.

The popularity level could change as the US becomes a dominant force in the sport on a worldwide level. It's taken a long time for us to become serious players on the highest levels but we are there and getting better. As a previous poster said, the problem with US soccer is that is so much slower and, simultaneously, less finesse than the worldwide soccer powerhouses. As US players improve that will change as well.

I think the key to making soccer huge in this country is to NOT rely solely on foreign imports who are on the downsides of their career to be the ambassador and face of the sport here. See the Beckham debacle. Rather, its to continue to grow and develop OUR OWN PLAYERS and win a WC or two. It will only be then that we can judge whether or not soccer will be successful as a draw in this country.

If after the US has won a couple of world titles they still can't sell the sport then it likely will not ever be sold. But until we have that accomplishment under our belt we are just guessing what it's impact might or might not be.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:42 PM   #30
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