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ZachTheZip

Downtown Arena!

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It probably won't be until after some of those landscape for learning initiatives (student center, rec center, football stadium, field house, etc.) are paid off before we get a new arena. At said point I feel it will be a joint venture between the city or county (perhaps both) and the University.

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3 hours ago, Joe Akron said:

 

The old mayor tried the "spend it and they will come" theory and we have a nice baseball stadium, a few new bars, tons of student housing and a heavy debt load, even without the money being spent on the sewer project.

My bet is that the administration will try to keep the .25% tax income tax after the last CLC is built.

 

They will need to to pay down the debt load.

 

Unfortunatetly it seems the spending is necessary.  Option 1:  Don't spend it and you'll have to tear down the buildings.  Option 2: Renovate the buildings and fix them so you don't have to tear them down.

 

Which would be better for the downtown Akron landscape?

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Why would more fans  (other than the 3,200 regulars) be inclined to see the Zips play in a new or bigger arena against the MAC and various bottom dwelling programs, with the odd D III team thrown in?  It has already been established that the team can't schedule any better.  If the city floats a  new arena --with the Zips as a primary tenant, they are crazy....and if the U of A somehow finances it, then it will be further proof that they are operating in a fantasy world. 

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3 minutes ago, morris buttermaker said:

 If the city floats a  new arena --with the Zips as a primary tenant, they are crazy....

 

and if the U of A somehow finances it, then it will be further proof that they are operating in a fantasy world. 

 

That's why the City isn't doing it.  Something big needs to surface (another sports tenant?) to change how they stand on this.  And even if that happens, we'll simply be using the City's Arena.  

 

The U of A will do it themselves at some point years down the line, maybe even out of necessity, once the JAR is 40-50 years old.  We won't have a choice.  But unfortunately it won't be the grand facility some are expecting.  It will be something closer to what Bowling Green built, as opposed to what Cleveland State built.

 

I wouldn't read too much into the new Mayor's desire to work with the University.  It's all about money.  

 

After 500 posts on this topic, I'd sure love to hear some new information, rather than people's opinions about what leaders SHOULD be doing.  I always like to feel like some kind of breakthrough is on the horizon somewhere.  But, I'm not getting that from anyone at the City, County or University right now.   

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The new arena is a want by both the city and the University, not a need and will be treated as such. The city has buildings and other stuff in need of dire repair as Balsy pointed out. The University has a $20M budget deficit to resolve while also fixing a shrinking enrollment.

 

I'm in agreement with Skip that the near 9 figure arena won't happen. There is just no way either side could come close to breaking even on it and in the era of scrutinized tuition costs I'm not sure the University can afford the scrutiny of jacking up student fees that much more. I'd hope for something a tad nicer than Bowling Green like the Jack Stephens Center which was also budget friendly.

Edited by kreed5120

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17 hours ago, Balsy said:

 

Unfortunatetly it seems the spending is necessary.  Option 1:  Don't spend it and you'll have to tear down the buildings.  Option 2: Renovate the buildings and fix them so you don't have to tear them down.

 

Which would be better for the downtown Akron landscape?

Absolutely no issue with spending, but why is it all by the city and not by private investors?

 

If the downtown area is an area that is truly a good investment opportunity, then it will attract private dollars with the money that local government has already invested.

 

The old mayor left us with 2 huge burdens, a still struggling downtown (in spite of the city spending) and a huge sewer bill (because of the lack of city spending)

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1 hour ago, Joe Akron said:

Absolutely no issue with spending, but why is it all by the city and not by private investors?

 

If the downtown area is an area that is truly a good investment opportunity, then it will attract private dollars with the money that local government has already invested.

 

The old mayor left us with 2 huge burdens, a still struggling downtown (in spite of the city spending) and a huge sewer bill (because of the lack of city spending)

 

If you follow the ABJ, the downtown revitalization project has bounced around a few private investors over the last 3-4 years, never really progressing.  The City is having to step in because the buildings have been determined to be at an event horizon.  At this point, they're either renovated RIGHT NOW or you'll lose them.  

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1 hour ago, Blue & Gold said:

Am I reading that right?  Joe Akron actually pulling for a new downtown arena for his beloved Zippers?!

 

 

ghostbusters 3 cats and dogs living together.jpg

 

 

R.E.M. said it best..

 

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine  ;)

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11 minutes ago, Balsy said:

 

If you follow the ABJ, the downtown revitalization project has bounced around a few private investors over the last 3-4 years, never really progressing.  The City is having to step in because the buildings have been determined to be at an event horizon.  At this point, they're either renovated RIGHT NOW or you'll lose them.  

What that tells me (and private investors who need to come up with the $$) is, if it didn't happen when interest rates were at all time record lows, then it's time to find a new way to spend taxpayer money. Debt service has ZERO return.

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1 hour ago, Joe Akron said:

What that tells me (and private investors who need to come up with the $$) is, if it didn't happen when interest rates were at all time record lows, then it's time to find a new way to spend taxpayer money. Debt service has ZERO return.

 

So let the buildings on main street become dilapidated and eventually having to service debt to tear them down?  Or perhaps have blighted buildings that become a safety liability if you don't tear them down...all in your downtown. You're damned if you do, and your even more damned if you don't.  

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1 minute ago, Balsy said:

 

So let the buildings on main street become dilapidated and eventually having to service debt to tear them down?  Or perhaps have blighted buildings that become a safety liability if you don't tear them down...all in your downtown. You're damned if you do, and your even more damned if you don't.  

 

Not sure why you are so sure that it has to be all or nothing?

You paint a picture of impending doom, as if buildings are teetering on the brink of despair.

I am suggesting that the city stop spending capital on downtown for awhile and shift their very limited resources to the neighborhoods.

If, as you imply, the money already spent downtown is working, then it's only a temporary shifting of resources.

If it doesn't work, then you try a new tactic.

 

You don't keep throwing money down a giant hole in the ground.

Oh wait, that's already being done...(sorry, it was too easy)

 

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1 hour ago, Joe Akron said:

You paint a picture of impending doom, as if buildings are teetering on the brink of despair.

 

I with you, Joe.  Some might not be old enough to remember what our Downtown looked like in the 70s, when the rubber factories were moving, buildings were empty, and nobody even went downtown after the workday was over. 

 

Sure, more can be done.  But it's come a long, long way.  

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1 hour ago, skip-zip said:

nobody even went downtown after the workday was over. 

Except for the people that were going to the "bookstore".

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22 minutes ago, K92 said:

Except for the people that were going to the "bookstore".

 

:rofl:

 

Oh, there were several "seedy" establishments that popped up in that area during that time.  

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Yes, there were "bookstores" down there.  There was also a "theater" on main street that featured non-family entertainment if you know what I mean. 

 

I remember using the term "ballet" quite a bit in my younger days to describe one of my destinations.  

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41 minutes ago, skip-zip said:

Yes, there were "bookstores" down there.  There was also a "theater" on main street that featured non-family entertainment if you know what I mean. 

 

I remember using the term "ballet" quite a bit in my younger days to describe one of my destinations.  

 

I remember going to the "ballet" on Main Street, that was a juice bar, anything went, after a Zips vs. Western Illinois game in the DII era (don't EVEN bring up my age!) and upon arrival, seeing my ex-High School sweetheart dancing nude....what a win, and what a night!

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DAMN!!!  Over two-and-a-half years since anybody cared enough to post on this subject! Well...here we go...

 

Even in the 50th State it's possible to hear scuttlebutt about the Polytechnic College of Summit County, and hear stories about the history of alma mater!

 

This summer I was privileged to spend time at the National Conference of Mayors conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, and had an opportunity to meet and greet several current and former Akron political bigwigs -- including a recent former mayor and former President of the National Conference of Mayors.

 

So...having him available to speak both "off-the-record" AND off-the-cuff" -- and before the booze started flowing LOL (I was informed that said mayor was capable of drinking any other city official "under the table"!), I dropped the question: "Whatever happened to that new downtown arena I heard so much about"? Whoa!! It took a fairly lengthy pause, an increase in blood pressure, and it almost seemed a skipped heartbeat before our ex-chief executive could spit out his heartfelt response...clearly I had hit upon a subject connected to his gut!  

 

"You know", he forcefully answered, including some quick statistics..."whenever the university comes to the city with a request, 17 out of 20 times, the city is happy to work with the university!  But more and more, the presidents have wanted to take, take, take and give nothing in return -- going all the way back to President Guzzetta there was a good relationship between the university and the city, but sheesh this last guy...!" (his veins starting to pump more blood more rapidly).  "All he ever wanted was to take, and never gave the city a damn thing!!"

 

So, my takeaway was, the university was expecting the city to foot the major share of the cost for an arena facility, and the city was unwilling -- not to mention unable to financially pull the rabbit that President Proenza was looking to be pulled out of its pocket.

 

But overall it was a merry three days of meetings and partying for the nations' municipal leadership along the white sands of Honolulu's tourist district.  And Z.I.P consumed mass quantities of libations -- courtesy of the mayors and sponsors! 

Edited by Z.I.P.
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@Z.I.P. I appreciate you sharing your story. I'm not sure its that people don't care. I think everyone has just came to the realization that barring some surprise 8 figure donation that a new arena isn't going to happen anytime soon.

 

I'm not sure if you recall, but a few years ago the city actually did try to get a downtown arena paid for by including it as part of a ballot issue that would have raised sales tax. The arena was removed prior to election day as tax payers made it clear they didn't want their tax dollars used for it. The sales tax increase measure still ended up failing. The University itself is facing its own well documented budget problems. The money isn't there for an arena.

 

Personally, I know the JAR is a bit dated relative to these cathedrals we've come used to experiencing in the sports entertainment world, however, it's structurally fine and completely serviceable. The University trying to keep up with the joneses is what has gotten it in the financial mess that it is currently in. Getting the annual budget into the black should be the Universities main focus. 

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4 hours ago, kreed5120 said:

Personally, I know the JAR is a bit dated relative to these cathedrals we've come used to experiencing in the sports entertainment world, however, it's structurally fine and completely serviceable. The University trying to keep up with the joneses is what has gotten it in the financial mess that it is currently in. Getting the annual budget into the black should be the Universities main focus. 

 

I agree. Additionally, I wonder what the difference in donations needed would to simply change the seating in the JAR - i.e. get rid of the track, bring the upper level closer to the court, and create a nasty college basketball atmosphere (crowd noise pending). The lobby would be the least of my concerns, as you already have incredibly nice locker rooms and a nice video board (albeit one shrunk back to its original size by the required ads that take up 40% of the screen). I also like the lower ceiling and exposed rafters. The layout is simply dated (if it was ever in style to begin with). 

Edited by Let'sGoZips94

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Our old friend Kreed is right on point.  The polling showed the citizens of Summit County didn't want to pay for a new arena and the issue died.  I was really looking forward to the Ice Capades, Harlem Globetrotters,  a circus that exploited animals, and monster trucks.

 

The JAR is a dump but it's our dump.  Sure I'd love another arena and wish some of the money put into the nearly always empty and decaying football behemoth had gone towards an arena or reworking the JAR, but those are worthless wishes.  I think the JAR could be revamped into a more workable arena that would promote a better fan experience but that also requires money the university doesn't have.

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On 9/12/2019 at 12:04 PM, Let'sGoZips94 said:

 

I agree. Additionally, I wonder what the difference in donations needed would to simply change the seating in the JAR - i.e. get rid of the track, bring the upper level closer to the court, and create a nasty college basketball atmosphere (crowd noise pending). The lobby would be the least of my concerns, as you already have incredibly nice locker rooms and a nice video board (albeit one shrunk back to its original size by the required ads that take up 40% of the screen). I also like the lower ceiling and exposed rafters. The layout is simply dated (if it was ever in style to begin with). 

Wasn't  one  of  our former  players, Reggie McAdams  working  on the re-design and  enhancement of the JAR?   Come on Reggie!!!!!!!!!!!

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