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Cincinnati: Downtown: Heritage Bank Center

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The Business Courier did an analysis of professional sports and said that Cincinnati's entertainment dollars are already stretched too thinly supporting an MLB and NFL team.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2015/04/does-cincinnati-have-the-firepower-to-add-another.html

 

I read that article when it came out and didn't believe its analysis.  Cleveland which has a similar sized market has MLB, NFL and the NBA.  You have those people that just love sports and go to them all, but then you have people where the professional teams probably pull from different crowds.  I don't particularly care for football and basketball, but I do go to baseball games and would go to soccer.  You have people that I'm sure would only go to basketball games and couldn't care less for football or baseball, etc..., but then you have people that overlap.  My point being that I'm sure there is a market for the soccer enthusiast in Cincinnati as well as MLB, NFL and the NBA.     

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You have a point about different sports appealing to different market segments. However I would submit the reason Cleveland has 3 teams is because of history,  it was proportionately more populous and wealthy compared to other cities when baseball, football, and basketball leagues were forming than it is today (much like Cincinnati.) Similiarly as an extreme case Green Bay, Wisconsin would never be on the NFL's list of possible expansion cities today. (History, citizen ownership and being the NFL team for all of Wisconsin also helps keep the Packers in Green Bay though.)

 

Edit: when the Browns came back to Cleveland as an expansion I would argue that that was because the team already had a demonstrated rabid fan base so it was already a proven market for the NFL as well as being a historically important area for pro football.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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The Business Courier did an analysis of professional sports and said that Cincinnati's entertainment dollars are already stretched too thinly supporting an MLB and NFL team.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2015/04/does-cincinnati-have-the-firepower-to-add-another.html

 

I read that article when it came out and didn't believe its analysis.  Cleveland which has a similar sized market has MLB, NFL and the NBA.  You have those people that just love sports and go to them all, but then you have people where the professional teams probably pull from different crowds.  I don't particularly care for football and basketball, but I do go to baseball games and would go to soccer.  You have people that I'm sure would only go to basketball games and couldn't care less for football or baseball, etc..., but then you have people that overlap.  My point being that I'm sure there is a market for the soccer enthusiast in Cincinnati as well as MLB, NFL and the NBA.   

 

 

If the study used Cincy's CSA which is around 2.2 million then the comparable figure for Cleveland-Akron-Canton CSA is 3.5 million which may explain the disparity. Dayton and Springfield aren't in Cincy's CSA, but how intertwined are those areas with Cincinnati sports? Would people in those areas support the teams by coming to games?

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If we had an NBA team that had at least one former Kentucky player, people would come from all over the commonwealth to watch the games, it's not just Ohio. Louisville is probably higher on the NBAs list, and has the Yum center already, but Kentucky is such a rabid basketball state that an NBA team in this region would be supported. I know people who drive to Washington DC just to see John wall play and I have driven to Indy to watch them play the Pelicans (Anthony Davis is the best). Nothern and central Kentuckians already support the Reds pretty universally so the NBA could be the same.

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If the study used Cincy's CSA which is around 2.2 million then the comparable figure for Cleveland-Akron-Canton CSA is 3.5 million which may explain the disparity. Dayton and Springfield aren't in Cincy's CSA, but how intertwined are those areas with Cincinnati sports? Would people in those areas support the teams by coming to games?

 

Not sure why Cincinnati's CSA doesn't include Dayton's MSA yet, but they have grown together.  A CSA is just a combination of MSA's (Micropolitan and Metropolitan areas that are tied together) and Cincinnati and Dayton do fit this bill, but it's just a matter of any day now that they will be officially considered combined.  When you look at the MSA's in the US for Ohio; Cincinnati is #28, Cleveland is #29 and Columbus at #32.  If Cincinnati and Dayton would be considered a CSA as it should be and compare it to Cleveland's CSA, the two would be very comparable in population.  That is why I said earlier that the Cincinnati and Cleveland metros are comparable.  The two areas should mirror each other in what they could support. 

 

I think it would be totally awesome if both Cincinnati and Cleveland were able to have professional soccer teams.  There are people out there that do like soccer that currently don't go to MLB, NFL or NBA games or would like it to be added to their options.  There is a whole untapped marked and I think that people would support it.  Ohio needs more than one professional soccer team and this would really create some great rivalry.  Sports love rivalry and this type of rivalry would only help propel the popularity.             

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^Right. That's kind of where I was going. If the study used at least the Dayton personal income numbers to combine with cincy he would've probably had different results, along the lines of South West Ohio being able to support more teams, he didn't, and maybe he did that to prove his point. Obviously there are people in Dayton that travel to see the Reds and Bengals and would probably for any expansion team that would come.

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If we had an NBA team that had at least one former Kentucky player, people would come from all over the commonwealth to watch the games, it's not just Ohio. Louisville is probably higher on the NBAs list, and has the Yum center already, but Kentucky is such a rabid basketball state that an NBA team in this region would be supported. I know people who drive to Washington DC just to see John wall play and I have driven to Indy to watch them play the Pelicans (Anthony Davis is the best). Nothern and central Kentuckians already support the Reds pretty universally so the NBA could be the same.

 

Then if this is true, US Bank arena should consider trying to get an NBA team instead of thinking college basketball.  I think that UC needs to keep the teams in the uptown area.  That is where it's major fan base is located.  I'm thinking they really aren't very mobile people.  Didn't somebody say that attendance for UC football went down when they had to play at PBS?  If so, wouldn't the same thing happen with college basketball if played in US Bank Arena?   

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^Probably. Sounds like a new arena would be better than some stop gap solution. Problem is what if a new arena is built but no team comes? Look at Sprint Center in Kansas city. In 2007/it was a shiny new arena, but 8 years later still has no NHL or NBA. It does get NCAA games however.

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You have a point about different sports appealing to different market segments. However I would submit the reason Cleveland has 3 teams is because of history,  it was proportionately more populous and wealthy compared to other cities when baseball, football, and basketball leagues were forming than it is today (much like Cincinnati.) Similiarly as an extreme case Green Bay, Wisconsin would never be on the NFL's list of possible expansion cities today. (History, citizen ownership and being the NFL team for all of Wisconsin also helps keep the Packers in Green Bay though.)

 

Edit: when the Browns came back to Cleveland as an expansion I would argue that that was because the team already had a demonstrated rabid fan base so it was already a proven market for the NFL as well as being a historically important area for pro football.

 

Yup... this place supports an NFL team.  Anything's possible.

 

greenbay+city.jpg

 

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I know it's off topic, but for those of you who like soccer, we have a minor league team the Cincinnati Saints. They just finished up their 2nd season, and their goal is to move up to MLS or bring a team here.

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THERE IS 0 CHANCE Cincinnati gets get an NBA team.

 

Seattle is the top of the list. Seattle has millionaires begging the NBA for a team. They have a committee dedicated to it, etc.  The NBA has even said they know Seattle would be the next City.... but they have said as of last summer there is no plan for an expansion anytime soon.

 

Seattle's people were offering $800 million in expansion fees, relocation, construction, etc... and they were turned down. 

 

Let's stop the sillyness of Cincinnati getting an NBA team ok?  It's like saying Cincinnati will be the next home to NASA. 

 

 

As for soccer:  The County Comissioners just approved an amendment to the lease allowing the Bengals to take over the unused Soccer locker room & training area that was built into PBS. 

 

But most of all... MLS is only allowing in new teams with Soccer specific stadiums.  No shared use stadiums unless they are temporary while construction happens on a new stadium.  So who is going to spend $250 million on a new soccer specific stadium and where would you put it?

 

The Bearcats should move to this new US Bank Arena because the NHL and the NBA aren't gonna come to Cincinnati.

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Cut the drivel. It's becoming quite tiresome.


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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As for soccer:  The County Comissioners just approved an amendment to the lease allowing the Bengals to take over the unused Soccer locker room & training area that was built into PBS. 

 

But most of all... MLS is only allowing in new teams with Soccer specific stadiums.  No shared use stadiums unless they are temporary while construction happens on a new stadium.  So who is going to spend $250 million on a new soccer specific stadium and where would you put it?

 

Actually if you would read the article from the CBC which is listed and mentioned in this thread, the portion that was set aside for MLS is being taken over for the Bengals as you stated so they can have more room while it's not in use, but it also states that the Bengals would have to give back the same amount of space if professional soccer made it's way to the stadium.

 

Now regarding MLS only allowing soccer specific stadiums is not true.  Plenty of teams already play in football stadiums and the new stadium being built for the new Atlanta team will house MLB, NFL and MLS all under one roof. 

 

That price you mention of $250 million for soccer specific stadiums is also missing the mark.  Montreal's was $40 million, Toyota Stadium in Texas $80 million, Columbus Crew Stadium $28.5 million and the not yet built LA stadium $150 million.  These are all stadiums that have just recently been built or are going to be built.  I didn't look up any others, but you can see there is really no consensus on how much it does cost to build these stadiums, but they are not high price tags as far as stadiums go.     

 

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As for soccer:  The County Comissioners just approved an amendment to the lease allowing the Bengals to take over the unused Soccer locker room & training area that was built into PBS. 

 

But most of all... MLS is only allowing in new teams with Soccer specific stadiums.  No shared use stadiums unless they are temporary while construction happens on a new stadium.  So who is going to spend $250 million on a new soccer specific stadium and where would you put it?

 

Actually if you would read the article from the CBC which is listed and mentioned in this thread, the portion that was set aside for MLS is being taken over for the Bengals as you stated so they can have more room while it's not in use, but it also states that the Bengals would have to give back the same amount of space if professional soccer made it's way to the stadium.

 

Now regarding MLS only allowing soccer specific stadiums is not true.  Plenty of teams already play in football stadiums and the new stadium being built for the new Atlanta team will house MLB, NFL and MLS all under one roof. 

 

That price you mention of $250 million for soccer specific stadiums is also missing the mark.  Montreal's was $40 million, Toyota Stadium in Texas $80 million, Columbus Crew Stadium $28.5 million and the not yet built LA stadium $150 million.  These are all stadiums that have just recently been built or are going to be built.  I didn't look up any others, but you can see there is really no consensus on how much it does cost to build these stadiums, but they are not high price tags as far as stadiums go.     

 

 

I'm sorry, you are incorrect. Only 3 of the 20 MLS teams plan to permanently stay in shared use venues. Currently, 14 of them are in soccer specific venues and three more have plans to be in soccer only stadiums by 2018 . The Atlanta shared location example is only being allowed because it's a massive $1.4 billion stadium (no baseball btw). The other two shared venues are Vancouver & Seattle.

 

Also, you state the sections of PBS would return to soccer in the future... But you fail to mention Mike Brown has to personally approve a soccer team coming here, and he is strongly opposed.

 

Finally-- the price. Yes, my $250 might seem a little high. But your numbers are insanely low. Miami's new stadium opening next year is $175 million. The new DC United stadium is estimated at $195 million. Atlanta's is $1.5 billion. If we got a team in 10 years, my number will be right.

 

 

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Apparently Cincinnati is getting a USL team (3rd tier soccer). They will play in Nippert while they figure out a stadium of their own. A lot of facts left unknown, but it appears local hero Jeff Berding is behind it.

 

Story here.

 

I'll also create a Cincinnati Soccer thread for discussions of this team and the Cincinnati Saints. Stay tuned.

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I listed out the potential pros and cons of new arena locations. Also I listed the possible effects of relocating UC Bearcat basketball to the new arena options.  Of these options, I like a renovated US Bank the best, closely followed by a downtown arena directly south of the convention center. (1 and 3 below) 

 

1. Renovated US Bank Arena

 

Pros

- Existing site, structure and experienced arena owner partners- saves $

- Existing Parking Infrastructure

- The Riverfront is really shaping up to be one of the crown jewels of the city.  Smale Park, Yeatman's Cove and Sawyer Point are Cincinnati at its best. 

- It's close to the streetcar line, about a quarter mile to the east of the Banks stop.  We could extend Cincinnati streetcar to the east so the Arena is the last Cincinnati stop, and/or the Arena could be an Ohio side stop on a Newport streetcar line

 

Cons

- Not strongly connected to the convention center by streetcar or other means (the RNC wanted to use both Convention Center and Arena)

- A residential Tower/mixed use development in the arena's place may provide more vibrancy at times when there wouldn’t be an Arena event going on

 

UC Bearcat Basketball effect

- Off campus basketball may hurt student attendance (but may attract new fans)

- An Uptown streetcar could help bring students down to arena

 

2. Horseshoe Casino Arena

 

Pros

- Could partner with casino owners- save $

- Casino could help offer programming

- Could do a mega deal moving Greyhound to the Riverfront Transit Center

 

Cons

- Not strongly connected to convention center

- Arena is tied to Casino which may be a negative for attracting some events (not family friendly enough)

 

UC Bearcat Basketball effect

- Casino is a possible issue with NCAA events

- Off campus basketball may hurt student attendance (but may attract new fans)

- An Uptown streetcar could help bring students down to arena

 

3. Downtown Arena directly south of Convention Center

 

Pros

- Strongly tied to convention center which is great for huge conventions like the RNC.  Would be right in the middle of convention-hotel complex.

- Redevelop a surface parking lot

 

Cons

- May have acquire and demolish existing parking garage to fit the arena footprint

- May require additional parking

 

UC Bearcat Basketball effect

 

- Off campus basketball may hurt student attendance (but may attract new fans)

- An Uptown streetcar could help bring students down to arena

 

4.  West End Arena (my idea for new arena on the NW corner of Linn and Ezzard Charles)

 

Pros

- Could help spur redevelopment in the West End.  An "Arena District" could develop in vacant Linn St. storefronts.  Could complete City West project with higher density mixed use infill. 

- Close to I-75 and another Cincinnati icon, Union Terminal

- Could connect directly to convention center with a new streetcar line- see below. The new line would serve a lot of landmarks geared towards tourism (Convention Center, Paul Brown Stadium, Hotels, Music Hall and Union Terminal, new Arena.) 

 

Cons

- Sports and arenas are not as good at sustaining redevelopment as previously thought- difficult to maintain business when there is no event happening (see early years of the Banks)

- May require some demolition of existing buildings at arena site

- Streetcar line shown below would be a new line almost as big as the existing line which means high cost 

 

UC Bearcat Basketball effect

- Off campus basketball may hurt student attendance (but may attract new fans)

- Close to campus (quickly accessible via Ravine and Linn)

- An Uptown streetcar plus a West End streetcar could help bring students down to arena

 

20210987480_dba35802f4_b.jpg


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Bank Arena owners unfazed by UC renovation plan

Steve Watkins Staff Reporter Cincinnati Business Courier

 

Owners of downtown Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena aren’t deterred by the University of Cincinnati’s move to go ahead with an $85 million renovation of its on-campus Fifth Third Arena.

 

U.S. Bank Arena’s owners announced last month they’re planning a dramatic renovation of the 40-year-old facility that they’re now saying could cost up to $250 million. The plan will require some public financing, and Hamilton County commissioner Greg Hartmann told my colleague Chris Wetterich that it was critical to get UC to move its basketball games to the revamped downtown arena if the county were going to kick in money to finance the project.

 

UC announced Tuesday it’s proceeding with its own plan to renovate its on-campus Fifth Third Arena. Its board of trustees approved spending $2.2 million to draw up initial plans for the renovation on Tuesday.

 

Cont


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Bank Arena owners unfazed by UC renovation plan

Steve Watkins Staff Reporter Cincinnati Business Courier

 

Owners of downtown Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena aren’t deterred by the University of Cincinnati’s move to go ahead with an $85 million renovation of its on-campus Fifth Third Arena.

 

U.S. Bank Arena’s owners announced last month they’re planning a dramatic renovation of the 40-year-old facility that they’re now saying could cost up to $250 million. The plan will require some public financing, and Hamilton County commissioner Greg Hartmann told my colleague Chris Wetterich that it was critical to get UC to move its basketball games to the revamped downtown arena if the county were going to kick in money to finance the project.

 

UC announced Tuesday it’s proceeding with its own plan to renovate its on-campus Fifth Third Arena. Its board of trustees approved spending $2.2 million to draw up initial plans for the renovation on Tuesday.

 

Cont

 

The expected public response. Privately, I doubt they're that "unfazed" by it. I've read comments from all three commissioners now saying that without UC in the mix, the project doesn't make sense. Aka, zero chance of putting a public funding ballot measure to vote.

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Kind of a weird thought. But does Cincinnati need a large venue downtown like US Bank Arena?

 

My guess is that it is important enough. But I don't know for sure.

 

The most important things is to look at:

 

1) Economic impact of lifespan of building.

2) Cost/benefit to the city over the lifetime of the building (subsidies/taxes raised).

3) Economic impact of the highest and best use of the land other than an arena.

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But does Cincinnati need a large venue downtown like US Bank Arena?

 

It's very rare for a metropolitan area over 1 million not to have a downtown (or nearby ala UD Arena or Scope in Norfolk) arena, regardless if a university plays there or not.  Hell, even Huntington has Big Sandy Superstore Arena!

 

800px-Big_Sandy_Superstore_Arena.jpg


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Oh I know. But does it make economic sense? There needs to be a study done that at least outlines the benefits to the city, county, region of keeping USBA relatively unchanged, doing a major upgrade, and tearing down for something else. From there we can determine how much public money should allow the public to break even. If that is too much for a complete renovation, then it shouldn't be done.

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The thing to watch out for in any benefit/cost analysis, whether it's for a stadium, highway, transit, subdivision, sewer system, or any project that the government is paying for, is that the returns have to be measured in tax receipts.  Usually the benefits are measured as the sum total of improved land value, additional retail sales, restaurant income, or the ever-fraudulent "time savings" used to justify road projects.  So say the government pays $100 million for some new project, and it generates $200 million in spin-off development and economic activity.  Sounds great right?  But those numbers only work if the government can recapture more than that $100 million in *taxes* over the life-cycle of that facility, on top of ongoing maintenance and operations. 

 

So if a city can only capture property tax revenue to fund itself (just to keep things simple), that $100 million outlay will take 25 years to pay off at a 2% property tax rate assuming no interest, no maintenance or operational costs, and that all the spinoff development landed immediately on day 1 and maintains value throughout that entire period of time.  This is why many road projects whose benefit/cost ratio comes out to something measly like 1.05:1 or something are in fact huge money losers, because usually 90-95% of the supposed benefits are those "time savings" multiplied by the prevailing wage, even though people don't actually earn any money from having a faster commute or quicker drive to Wal-Mart, nor does the government get to tax any of those benefits to pay back the real hard cash used to build that road. 

 

This is why the streetcar's benefit/cost ratio came out to about 3:1 if I recall.  The $120-some million cost requires over $1 billion in improved land values, additional sales, jobs, etc. to generate enough property, sales, and income taxes to pay back that expenditure.  A ratio of 3:1 doesn't sound all that impressive, but if this was a highway project they'd be touting an 8:1 ratio instead.  So back to the topic at hand, that's the critical component to watch out for when evaluating the benefits of something like a stadium. 

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A general $1 invested = $X in economic activity is important too. But yes, for the City of Cincinnati to provide direct funding or tax breaks, there needs to be a break even point for the city to offer incentives. And they shouldn't go too close to that value considering the margin of error for economic impact studies.

 

[warning: very simplified] If a full renovation costs $200 Million, and the city would see a direct increase of $1 Million in taxes each year for the useful life of the renovation (20 years), the city should not offer more than $15 Million in incentives for the project. That leaves room for the economic projections to not fully pan out and still come out ahead.

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Of course where it really gets complicated is when you have not only property taxes, but then tax abatements or TIF situations, and federal and state income tax, some of which comes back locally with strings attached, local income taxes, sales tax which are collected and redistributed at the county level, plus maintenance and operational costs which aren't just money down the drain but can be viewed in a sense as a subsidy to local companies and employees to the point that you start chasing your tail and the calculations spiral out of control. 

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But does Cincinnati need a large venue downtown like US Bank Arena?

 

It's very rare for a metropolitan area over 1 million not to have a downtown (or nearby ala UD Arena or Scope in Norfolk) arena, regardless if a university plays there or not.  Hell, even Huntington has Big Sandy Superstore Arena!

 

800px-Big_Sandy_Superstore_Arena.jpg

 

That is a complete assault on the eyes.

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Don't diss Big Sandy!!!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I hope a renovated US Bank happens, it is needed, but the City/County needs to be really careful. Still reeling from the bad PBS deal.

More for incentives and not borrowing money and writing checks. It is really the responsibility of the owners of US Bank Arena to fund the

renovation. Their people are smarter than elected politicians.

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But does Cincinnati need a large venue downtown like US Bank Arena?

 

It's very rare for a metropolitan area over 1 million not to have a downtown (or nearby ala UD Arena or Scope in Norfolk) arena, regardless if a university plays there or not.  Hell, even Huntington has Big Sandy Superstore Arena!

 

Welcome Comrades!

 

800px-Big_Sandy_Superstore_Arena.jpg

 

That is a complete assault on the eyes.

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There you go dissing Big Sandy again!

 

I'm watching you, RABBITRASH!!!

 

:D


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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