The losing game of publicly financed sports venues – The Globe and Mail

BARRIE MCKENNA OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail Published Friday, Jul. 17, 2015 4:41PM EDT

Source: The losing game of publicly financed sports venues – The Globe and Mail

The people of Quebec City and Edmonton are falling prey to one of the oldest con games – the notion that spending public money on pro sports venues is a sound investment.

Facts don’t seem to matter in this game. And your city could be fleeced next.

Stacks of independent research over many decades have shown that building a stadium or luring a new franchise does little for a city’s economy. They typically don’t generate significant new tax dollars, jobs or growth. In most cases, the money would be more wisely spent on badly needed public infrastructure, such as roads, transit or schools

Sign a petition for a referendum on the proposed Flames Olympic arena

Olympic referendum
The public has the final say.

Citizens of Calgary should MAKE THE DECISION about committing tax dollars to the Flames arena and the Olympics – not just 15 Councillors.

A referendum is the way for Citizens to decide extraordinary matters of this kind.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

 

 

Calgary Flames say stand-alone fieldhouse would cost city $260M

The owners of the Calgary Flames are estimating the costs of a stand-alone fieldhouse will be substantially higher than the city has projected.

Source: Calgary Flames say stand-alone fieldhouse would cost city $260M

Tom SindlingerThe Flames and an amateur sports group, arguing about how much new facilities would cost, neither of which have any expertise in the matter other than they would be the beneficiaries of taxpayer expenditures.  Whatever number they use, it is like when a child wants $1 it asks for $5.

And having seen many public undertakings over years, we know that final costs are always multiples of original estimates.

Federal cash for CalgaryNEXT project? Hehr says no … and maybe

Liberal cabinet minister Kent Hehr says Ottawa won’t cough up cash for a new Calgary Flames arena but he left the door open to federal dollars for other aspects of the CalgaryNEXT proposal. In an interview this week, the Calgary Centre MP and Veterans Affairs Minister said the Trudeau government is maintaining the policy of the former Conservative…

Source: Federal cash for CalgaryNEXT project? Hehr says no … and maybe

“The government of Canada does not fund professional sports facilities. They’re not eligible under our infrastructure program,” said Hehr.  This is pretty clear.

Why CalgaryNext was rejected by city staff who studied the proposal for months

After months of study, city staff released a report concluding the CalgaryNext proposal for a downtown arena and stadium is “not feasible.” Here’s why they think it won’t work.

Source: Why CalgaryNext was rejected by city staff who studied the proposal for months

Bottom line, it costs Calgary tax payers too much.

The Flames’ CalgaryNEXT arena plan could cost $1.8 billion, double the original estimate, says a city report

The Calgary Flames’ ambitious vision to build a professional and amateur sports complex in the West Village hit a major roadblock Wednesday following the release of a city analysis showing CalgaryNEXT could cost ultimately about $1.8 billion and have taxpayers pay up to two-thirds of the tab.   It’s a staggering sum that city hall insiders believe…

Source: The Flames’ CalgaryNEXT arena plan could cost $1.8 billion, double the original estimate, says a city report

No experienced independent, objective viewpoint saw, from the beginning, this proposal being less than $2 billion, with the City being on the hook for most of it.

But, don’t expect the Flames to stop here; and, there will be some Councilors supporting them.  Furthermore, the creosote soil contamination will be judged manageable and the health risk negligible.  After all, the land has been continuously occupied and no one has dies yet.

Council grounds CalgaryNEXT proposal

While city officials say that Calgary does indeed need a new arena, they’ve found that the CalgaryNEXT proposal may not be the way to go.

Source: Council grounds CalgaryNEXT proposal

The Flames proposed arena in the West Village was poorly conceived and amateurishly presented.  The financial projections were dubious from the start and the site selection ill advised.

(The report to Council may be seen here.)

 

Paying for NHL arenas: How does CalgaryNEXT compare? | Metro News

Mix of public, private and other money involved in funding nine most recent NHL arenas.

Source: Paying for NHL arenas: How does CalgaryNEXT compare? | Metro News

This analysis fails to include the cost of infrastructure, such as the rebuilding of Crowchild Trail and Bow Trail; electrical and gas lines; and the capability fo the Bow River to absorb the additional effluent.

Provincial money not ruled out for CalgaryNext arena project

Alberta’s municipal affairs minister says she’s not inclined to use taxpayer money for a new professional sports complex in Calgary, but she’s not closing the door either.

Source: Provincial money not ruled out for CalgaryNext arena project

This is an example of a politician talking about something outside her range of expertise.  She should talk to the finance minister who will tell her that there isn’t any money for a proposed Flames arena.

New poll finds Calgarians are torn on CalgaryNext plan for multi-sport complex

The poll suggests that Calgarians are split on whether to support a proposed plan for a $1 billion sports complex for the Flames and Stampeders and whether public money should be used to build it.

Source: New poll finds Calgarians are torn on CalgaryNext plan for multi-sport complex

Dig into this a bit more, and it is clear that the issue is “who pays”?  If it is the Flames, the response is go ahead, it’s private money for a private business.

If it is taxpayers to the tune of between $2,000 and $4,000 each, forget about it!

CalgaryNext plebiscite: Your responses to the idea of a public vote on new complex – Calgary – CBC News

Here’s what you had to say about the idea of putting a proposal for a new sports complex to a public vote. And boy, did you have a lot to say.

Source: CalgaryNext plebiscite: Your responses to the idea of a public vote on new complex – Calgary – CBC News

We do not elect Councilors to build billion dollar arenas.  We elect them to build parks and roads, provide water and electricity, and remove snow.  They do not have a mandate to commit massive public funds for private business (the Flames).

Let the public decide in a binding plebiscite or referendum.  Better yet, make it a major election issue in the next civic election1

Nenshi says revitalization levy for CalgaryNEXT project won’t work

Early analysis suggests using a $200-million community revitalization levy to partially bankroll the Calgary Flames group’s mega sports complex in west downtown won’t work, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a recent year-end interview.  This summer, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. pitched an ambitious plan to build a new NHL arena, CFL stadium and public field…

Source: Nenshi says revitalization levy for CalgaryNEXT project won’t work

Should sports arenas get public money?

The Calgary Flames are asking for public money to build a new arena. CBC business reporter Paul Haavardsrud takes a look at what sports arenas do — and don’t — contribute to cities.

Source: Should sports arenas get public money?

The Calgary Flames want a new arena, and while it’s not likely to be federally funded, the team’s owners are hoping for some support at the city level.

Since they know that can be a hard sell, when the plan was presented earlier this year, the head of the Flames compared the arena to something else that benefits the public good: a library.

CBC business reporter Paul Haavardsrud takes a look at what sports arenas do for their cities and finds that the economic case for new arenas has been overstated.

With Calgary taxpayers possibly on hook for most of CalgaryNEXT’s estimated $890

Taxpapyers "on the hook"
Taxpayers “on the hook”

With Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corp. formally requesting to build Ca
lgary­NEXT on a 130-acre plot known as West Village next to downtown — a project which could require up to $690 million in taxpayer funding to cover the estimated $890 million tab — the Sun decided to take a look at some other major stadium projects completed and under constr

Source: With Calgary taxpayers possibly on hook for most of CalgaryNEXT’s estimated $890

Is CalgaryNEXT a good idea?

stick_figure_in_deep_thought_1600_clr_8120“I have consistently expressed that I am not in favour of public money or free land going toward for-profit organizations. Calgarians would have to see a significant public benefit from CalgaryNEXT, for money or free land to be given.”  Councilor Druh farrell

Source: The City of Calgary – Ward 7 News: Blog – Is CalgaryNEXT a good idea?

City can’t ‘wing it’ with revitalization levy for proposed CalgaryNEXT sports complex

Consultants and politicians say extensive market and economic feasibility studies must be done before a $240-million community revitalization levy is approved to partially finance a proposed multi-sport complex in downtown Calgary’s west end. Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., which owns the Calgary Flames, Stampeders, Hitmen and Roughnecks, has proposed using the levy to help fund…

Source: City can’t ‘wing it’ with revitalization levy for proposed CalgaryNEXT sports complex

Calgary Flames’ proposed arena could be another example of why public funding doesn’t equal public benefit | National Post

Scott Stinson: That’s the problem with arenas, in sum: they attract money, but only money that would have been spent locally anyway

Source: Calgary Flames’ proposed arena could be another example of why public funding doesn’t equal public benefit | National Post

MacPherson & Bateman: How a small B.C. town got the Calgary Flames hooked on corporate welfare

Giving hundreds of millions to a wealthy sports franchise for a for-profit development doesn’t make sense — especially in Alberta

Source: MacPherson & Bateman: How a small B.C. town got the Calgary Flames hooked on corporate welfare

Economist on CalgaryNEXT: $1 in could mean $1.20 out – 660 NEWS

A high-ranking official for a Canadian economic think tank is laying out how CalgaryNEXT could be approved with the contribution of taxpayer money. Glen Hodgson, Senior VP and Chief Economist with the Conference Board of Canada, said while research suggests new sports facilities don’t create a net benefit to a local economy, they could be […]

Source: Economist on CalgaryNEXT: $1 in could mean $1.20 out – 660 NEWS

MacPherson: CalgaryNEXT doesn’t need corporate welfare

 The Calgary Flames ownership group is standing on the steps of City Hall, lips quivering, arms outstretched, fedoras in hand.  They need hundreds of millions of our tax dollars for a so-called city building project, a downtown NHL arena and sports complex dubbed CalgaryNEXT. If you have a problem with that, “then what’s your competing…

Source: MacPherson: CalgaryNEXT doesn’t need corporate welfare

Meetings and consultations for arena plan

NEXT STEPS

Consulting Calgarians on new arena plan:

business_conference_400_clr_3835Where do we go from here?

 

After announcing plans to build an $890 million arena, event centre and fieldhouse, the next step for Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. officials will be to begin meeting with various levels of government, said president and CEO Ken King, while city officials will start engaging Calgarians and looking into the cleanup of the creosote-contaminated site.

“Essentially this is the

Formal request,” said King. “What we want to do now is begin the dialogue on a (Community Revitalization Levy), that’s a dialogue that takes place between the (Calgary Municipal Land Corp., which manages cityowned lands) the city and the province.”

Continue reading “Meetings and consultations for arena plan”

Creosote bill new ground for government

When it comes to the environmental cleanup of the proposed CalgaryNEXT’s West Village site, there’s no precedent for the province stepping in to cover the cost, said the premier.

“We have operated in this province for many years on a principle of polluter pay and there’s really no precedent of the province stepping in to pay the cost of remediation when a polluter has contaminated a piece of property,” Premier Rachel Notley said during a visit to the Calgary-Foothills riding Wednesday evening.

Continue reading “Creosote bill new ground for government”

Arena proposal heats up

Calgary Flames expected to ask city for $200M

Robson Fletcher Metro | Calgary

The Calgary Flames plan to unveil “high-level” information next Tuesday about a project dubbed “Calgary NEXT,” adding fuel to ongoing speculation about the team’s plans for a new arena and what it may ask of taxpayers as part of the proposal.

“We would like to share a proposal for a project that will make all Calgarians and Albertans proud,” King wrote in an email to seasonticket holders, copies of which circulated online Wednesday. “This has the potential to be one of Calgary’s most transformative projects at a vital time in our city’s history.”

A source with knowledge of the proposal told Metro the Flames are expected to ask the city for roughly $200 million toward the multi-use facility, which would not only provide a home to the NHL team and the Calgary Stampeders, but also include a multisport fieldhouse for public use.

The city has already approved a concept plan — but hasn’t secured funding — to build a new fieldhouse at Foothills Athletic Park with a price tag “in the range of $200 million,” the source noted.

The idea would be to instead incorporate that into the Flames’ project in the West Village area, just west of downtown, as opposed to building a “standalone” facility at Foothills, the source said. In his email, King said more detailed information is to be released Tuesday.

“This is not a formal launch of the project, but it is an opportunity for us to share what has been done to date and introduce our vision for the future,” he wrote.

Continue reading “Arena proposal heats up”

The impossible fight against America’s stadiums

What’s America to do about its stadium problem?

Over the past 15 years, more than $12 billion in public money has been spent on privately owned stadiums. Between 1991 and 2010, 101 new stadiums were opened across the country; nearly all those projects were funded by taxpayers. The loans most often used to pay for stadium construction—a variety of tax-exempt municipal bonds—will cost the federal government at least $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies to bondholders. Stadiums are built with money borrowed today, against public money spent tomorrow, at the expense of taxes that will never be collected. Economists almost universally agree that publicly financed stadiums are bad investments, yet cities and states still race to the chance to unload the cash. What gives?

Continue reading “The impossible fight against America’s stadiums”

Flames need to “earn” public funding for arena development

The Calgary Flames have a motto for their players — “nothing given, everything earned.” It’s a mantra the NHL team’s executives would do well to embrace as they lobby governments for hundreds of millions of’ dollars to build the entertainment complex and urban redevelopment project they’re proposing to transform the city’s west end. Ken King, chief executive of Calgary Sports and…

Source: Ewart: Flames need to “earn” public funding for arena development

Nenshi says polluter should help pay for creosote clean-up of proposed arena site

The provincial and federal governments bear some responsibility in remediating contaminated land in the city’s West Village where the owners of the Calgary Flames and Stampeders hope to build an $890-million sports complex, says Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Source: Nenshi says polluter should pay for creosote cleanup in West Village

First, soil remediation at the proposed arena site has been underway for years, begging the question of who is paying for that.  Whoever that is, by paying the cost, has accepted liability and is responsible for completing the clean-up.

Second, the polluter should pay, not just “help pay”.

Community Revitalization Levy 

Alberta[edit] In April 2012, it was proposed that the Alberta government change regulations so that the Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) could be applied to remediation costs “incurred by a private developer.”[36]:18 “The CRL does not currently allow the levy to be used for remediation costs incurred by a private developer. While the CRL is quite a comprehensive approach that is not widely used, it is suggested that a change in regulation to allow the levy to apply to remediation costs would provide inc

Source: Tax increment financing – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is another term for the Community Revitalization Levy tax being sought by Calgary sports and Entertainment  for its proposed arena.

GSL land deal fuels speculation of new arena, condo towers

The City of Calgary now officially owns the GSL land on the western outskirts of downtown leading to speculation on what it plans to do with its real estate holdings of more than 12 hectares in the area along Bow Trail.

Source: GSL land deal fuels speculation of new arena, condo towers

Was this land bought so the City could mask a contribution to the proposed Flames arena?

Councillors know there will be much opposition to contributing public money to a private sports organization.  Buying the land means they can say  “no money, but wait, we have this land you can use“.

Clever but misleading.

Councillors divided on funding plan for new Flames arena

Just as Calgarians are divided on the merits and financing of a mega multi-sport complex proposed to replace the aging Saddledome and McMahon Stadium, so too is Calgary city council. After the owners of the Flames and Stampeders unveiled their long-awaited plans last week to construct an $890-million complex dubbed CalgaryNEXT, an exclusive poll for…

Source: Councillors divided on funding plan for new Flames arena

Canadian Taxpayers Federation no-public-funds petition

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has renewed its petition opposing tax dollars for pro sports arenas, reflecting the Calgary Flames ownership’s recent request for public funds to build CalgaryNEXT.

Last week, Calgary Flames president Ken King unveiled an $890-million plan for a new arena, stadium and fieldhouse that would require a large buy-in from the city.

Calgary Flames ownership is expecting a possible $690 million — or more — from public funds to either front the money or pay a portion of the new sports complex, the CTF said in a press release.

Pro sports complexes should be paid for with tickets, not taxes,” said CTF-Alberta Director Paige MacPherson, in a prepared release.

Continue reading “Canadian Taxpayers Federation no-public-funds petition”

Calgary Flames’ proposed arena could be another example of why public funding doesn’t equal public benefit

Scott Stinson: That’s the problem with arenas, in sum: they attract money, but only money that would have been spent locally anyway

Source: Calgary Flames’ proposed arena could be another example of why public funding doesn’t equal public benefit

The losing game of publicly financed sports venues

Spending billions for new arenas is touted by politicians and team owners as a sure win for the economy – but a plethora of studies shows otherwise

Source: The losing game of publicly financed sports venues

“One of the oldest con games – the notion that spending public money on pro sports venues is a sound investment.”

The Flames are asking every Calgarian for an initial $200 contribution for a new arena.

Sugar coating the request is a promise they will designate a small portion of the arena for amateur sports, so the the Foothills recreation site will not be needed (get it, the money for the Foothills site could then be spent on the Flames’ site).

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.I SAY NO, but this is a controversial matter.  So, let’s have a plebiscite.  The public has a right to be heard.

No Councilor campaigned or was elected to commit us to such an enormous expense.