News New Downtown Arena

Ramcounter

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Dec 7, 2011
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If it were that simple, why is it underutilized now?



I haven't read the proposal, but that's not how it works normally. There isn't a pot of tax dollars sitting around waiting to be given away. The tax revenue they're talking about is derived by the arena and surrounding area. If that land sits idle, there's 0 tax revenue generated.



Ditto @ramdogs response.
The No Coliseum website lays out some concerns regarding how the primary and secondary impact of the TIF is being calculated in the proposal. Also, this goes back to my original question in that would the development occur if the city would just sell the land to the highest bidder?

 
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Aug 27, 2009
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I’m a huge hockey fan but if you look at the arena sizes for the AHL, this arena would be one of the largest. Most in fact are just a little bigger than the Siegel center.

Really the arena would only be for large concerts and the beginning rounds of the NCAA tournament. Without a primary tenant it’s difficult to support something like this.

Now with all that said, I want VCU to be the primary tenant, move to the Big East and live happily ever after in front of a sold out 17,500 crowd every game night.
 
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Violet Ram

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The No Coliseum website lays out some concerns regarding how the primary and secondary impact of the TIF is being calculated in the proposal. Also, this goes back to my original question in that would the development occur if the city would just sell the land to the highest bidder?

Starting off with the 'highest bidder' comment, that's what I was referencing earlier. If there are alternative uses that can generate the same economic growth with less public support, great. Do it. I'm just not sure if the interest is there. If it were, why hasn't it happened yet (efficient market, to be nerdy).

I've stated this once before on this thread, I'm not a RVA taxpayer, so I have no vested interest. I've worked on a few of these projects. The website you linked (and has been linked before) is quite a biased perspective. I'm not saying it's completely off-base; it's just hard for me to take it as credible. The article you linked is riddled with inaccuracies that are easily rebutted by looking at the sources it cites:

$345 million isn’t even enough to cover the principal of the bonds the City will issue for this project. Like shown earlier, with interest the bill to the City will total $620 million. So the project will only pay for about 55% of the costs to the City.

So NO this project will not pay for itself with new revenue from increased property tax revenue like a TIF is supposed to do.
The RTD reported the total principle debt was 350 million (which likely includes debt service payment for the first couple years while the project is being developed). 620M is the amount that would be owed if bonds are repayed over 30 years, including interest.

RTD Article post: 920159 said:
The city would be responsible for paying $220 million for the new arena, $10 million for the armory renovation and the cost of infrastructure improvements in the project area such as raising Leigh Street to grade between 4th and 8th Streets and reconnecting the street grid on Clay Street.
City officials said they would cover the costs with a $350 million bond offering, potentially through the Richmond Economic Development Authority.
So tax revenue alone covers the cost of the project. But that's not a fair assessment. Projects like this are intended to grow the local economy and tax base. When you add in sales and payroll taxes, it's quite evident that the project is anticipated to pay for itself, as the RTD states:

RTD Article post: 920159 said:
Over the course of 30 years, the city would owe $620 million in principal and interest payments to investors who buy the bonds. Financial projections from a Stoney-hired consultant indicate the city could make enough new tax revenue on the project to pay back what it owes in as few as 18 years, city officials have said. That would save about $125 million.
Also, the no dominion coliseum website is written by someone who doesn't understand bonds. They think that all bonds issuesd by a governmental entity are supported by the local government. Again, that is not right nor what is in the proposal. The proposal discusses revenue bonds, which means the "collateral" for the bonds is the revenue generated by the project. These are not general obligation bonds which the city is liable for repaying from their tax coffers (however, a default would impact the city's credit).

I think the legitimate aspects of the article are whether the numbers are inflated and if they are including a zone that's too large. Supposedly the accounting is for 'incremental' growth. If those are honest projections, I think the zone, while a bit large, is probably accurate enough.

On a finer point, the article linked an RTD article about how much the city has paid lawyers to vet this project. From my experience, that's misleading because oftentimes the government will have the prospective developer reimburse the government for any project fees, including lawyer fees. So yes, RVA may be paying fees to lawyers to review and advise, but doesn't mean the taxpayers are footing the bill.

Happy to discuss more if that's desired. Still haven't read the entire proposal (would do, but falling asleep now).
 
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Mistachill

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I’m a huge hockey fan but if you look at the arena sizes for the AHL, this arena would be one of the largest. Most in fact are just a little bigger than the Siegel center.

Really the arena would only be for large concerts and the beginning rounds of the NCAA tournament. Without a primary tenant it’s difficult to support something like this.

Now with all that said, I want VCU to be the primary tenant, move to the Big East and live happily ever after in front of a sold out 17,500 crowd every game night.
So if you have a 17,500 size arena it can only be used for events attracting that size crowds? So how do you explain the Barclay Center hosting the A-10 tournament? The championship game attendance was about half capacity.

It would be very short-sighted to invest in another 10,000-ish size arena giving you zero capacity to be considered for anything large scale in the future. Especially since there have been advances in covering the upper bowl of arenas for events where you expect smaller crowds. There's another thread where people are complaining about the size of the Siegel Center because we didn't have the vision to think beyond the current situation when the facility was built.

I could totally see us attracting an ECHL franchise, i.e. the Norfolk Admirals moving to Richmond or the Wheeling Nailers (Penguins affiliate) moving from West Virginia. Perhaps the Tampa Bay Lighting may have interest in relocating their AHL team (currently in Syracuse) closer to their major league team. Doing a little bit of research, the Albany Devils recently moved to Binghamton due to poor attendance. Since the move they're still at the bottom of the league in attendance. They are starting the third year of a five year agreement. Perhaps if things don't improve this would line up nicely with a new arena in Richmond? I could totally since top flight minor league hockey doing well in Richmond now especially if we can further develop the downtown area/walking distance to the new arena. I assume our TV market size would prohibit us from ever getting a major league franchise.

Also, there have been a number of arenas built in the past 20 years the size of what is being proposed in Richmond without a major league tenant or P5 college team:

2007 - Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri - 19,252
2008 - BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma - 19,199
1999 - Verizon Arena, North Little Rock, Arkansas - 19,000
2003 - CHI Health Center Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska - 18,975 (though Creighton is now in the Big East)
2010 - Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kansas - 17,000
2005 - Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa - 16,980
2003 - VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida - 16,301

Point being, you can't stay stuck in the past or present, you have to have a vision for the possibilities in the future.
 
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Dec 2, 2012
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The coliseum on its own won't make enough money to pay for itself (barring someone being able to get an NHL team to town) so to get private funding for the coliseum, you're going to have to throw something to investors that is of value.

Perhaps it makes more sense for the city to take bonds and pay for the deal themselves but I don't believe they have the debt capacity for a $275m arena.

This plan isn't perfect, I'm sure. But at this point I'm not going to let perfect be the enemy of the good. If this deal gets torpedoed the Richmond metro will go at least another decade without a viable arena.
So if you have a 17,500 size arena it can only be used for events attracting that size crowds? So how do you explain the Barclay Center hosting the A-10 tournament? The championship game attendance was about half capacity.

It would be very short-sighted to invest in another 10,000-ish size arena giving you zero capacity to be considered for anything large scale in the future. Especially since there have been advances in covering the upper bowl of arenas for events where you expect smaller crowds. There's another thread where people are complaining about the size of the Siegel Center because we didn't have the vision to think beyond the current situation when the facility was built.

I could totally see us attracting an ECHL franchise, i.e. the Norfolk Admirals moving to Richmond or the Wheeling Nailers (Penguins affiliate) moving from West Virginia. Perhaps the Tampa Bay Lighting may have interest in relocating their AHL team (currently in Syracuse) closer to their major league team. Doing a little bit of research, the Albany Devils recently moved to Binghamton due to poor attendance. Since the move they're still at the bottom of the league in attendance. They are starting the third year of a five year agreement. Perhaps if things don't improve this would line up nicely with a new arena in Richmond? I could totally since top flight minor league hockey doing well in Richmond now especially if we can further develop the downtown area/walking distance to the new arena. I assume our TV market size would prohibit us from ever getting a major league franchise.

Also, there have been a number of arenas built in the past 20 years the size of what is being proposed in Richmond without a major league tenant or P5 college team:

2007 - Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri - 19,252
2008 - BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma - 19,199
1999 - Verizon Arena, North Little Rock, Arkansas - 19,000
2003 - CHI Health Center Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska - 18,975 (though Creighton is now in the Big East)
2010 - Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kansas - 17,000
2005 - Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa - 16,980
2003 - VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida - 16,301


Point being, you can't stay stuck in the past or present, you have to have a vision for the possibilities in the future.
Hey;
is there any feedback on how these were financed, are they full, are they turning a profit?
 
Feb 3, 2011
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I get both sides and how much it could cost in the long run. However until we do something with that dump of a coliseum we will continue to fall farther behind other "big time cities". The city of Richmond has dropped the ball over and over and over. The location of Richmond is awesome and really cuts the east coast. Its time to build it and figure out a way to get it done.
 
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Dec 2, 2012
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Regarding "Broad and Grace Streets" was that before or after the Siegel Center?
Well, lets see, the Stu open in 1999, so after.

But Rappahannock at 320 E Grace St didnt open until 2014, so if you're giving credit to the Stu for that, its a pretty slow burn, and I'd argue that general VCU creep towards downtown had more to do with it than the Stu.(If you'll accept that opening as a marker for the upswing of the area, also that's pretty far from the Stu, the Colosseum was still open then)
 

rvaram

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Mar 26, 2012
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Hey;
is there any feedback on how these were financed, are they full, are they turning a profit?
The arena itself probably won't turn a profit. The money for the city comes from increases meals taxes and hotel taxes. On a larger scale, it also comes from people like me who live in the city and pay the 1.20 property tax (in part because of the proximity to events and entertainment options.
 
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Mistachill

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Well, lets see, the Stu open in 1999, so after.

But Rappahannock at 320 E Grace St didnt open until 2014, so if you're giving credit to the Stu for that, its a pretty slow burn, and I'd argue that general VCU creep towards downtown had more to do with it than the Stu.(If you'll accept that opening as a marker for the upswing of the area, also that's pretty far from the Stu, the Colosseum was still open then)
You build the anchor (Siegel Center), other development (whether related to athletics or not) start to surface around it and spreads. It doesn't happen overnight. It's a domino affect. Also, what part of Broad/Grace was being referred to? The bottomline is economic development (at least from my observation) doesn't just happen organically. There's usually something stimulating the growth or serving as an anchor that other stuff builds around.
 

Mistachill

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Apr 20, 2009
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Hey;
is there any feedback on how these were financed, are they full, are they turning a profit?
I'm certainly not going to take time to examine any of this so feel free to do your own research about profitability. They're all publicly owned facilities so I assume they were publicly financed. And what does "full" mean?

Also, here's a link to the events calendar for the Verizon Arena, North Little Rock, Arkansas : https://www.verizonarena.com/concerts-shows/ Somehow in Little Rock can find a way to bring attractions to their arena, but we can't do that in Richmond?
 
Dec 2, 2012
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I'm certainly not going to take time to examine any of this so feel free to do your own research about profitability. They're all publicly owned facilities so I assume they were publicly financed. And what does "full" mean?

Also, here's a link to the events calendar for the Verizon Arena, North Little Rock, Arkansas : https://www.verizonarena.com/concerts-shows/ Somehow in Little Rock can find a way to bring attractions to their arena, but we can't do that in Richmond?
Fun fact: I actually went to a minor league MMA show in that arena, when it was the Alltel Center. The MMA show had floor seats only so it was probably at 10% of capacity.
Also, Little Rock doesn't have the JPJ an hour one way and the DC Verizon Center an hour another way, plus the Scope isn't shutting down that I know of.