Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MR Post: Mayor Coleman Talks Downtown Stadium

About a week ago popular Columbus mayor Michael Coleman joined a local radio station to talk sports. About halfway in they got talking on the the topic of a downtown Crew stadium. I was taken back by Coleman's remarks. He basically said there is no money to help Anthony Precourt get a stadium downtown.

POST --- A Downtown Stadium "Would Be Very Difficult"


I've never heard a mayor of any city talk like that. I won't go as far as to consider it a watershed moment, but it is significant. For the past few decades pro sports teams have been taking more and more from local governments to get stadium deals done and the return on investment is questionable.

This particular deal in Columbus with Nationwide Arena and the Blue Jackets (NHL) was a strange one. It involves increased taxes as well as an investment from the printing company that prints the local paper, The Columbus Dispatch. The deal also helps out Nationwide Insurance, which in turn keeps their corp office rooted in the city. On top of that, it's not just a deal that lasts a few years or even a decade, it goes on for a generation.

If Anthony Precourt wants to build a stadium downtown he's going to have to pay for it himself. I'm thinking that after a $60 million dollar investment that the idea of spending another $100+ is completely out of the question.


Fine with me. I adore Crew Stadium. More often than not the meaning and history behind something means more than a skyline or a snappy new bar next door. And sometimes that history and meaning are being made right before our eyes yet we fail to see it.

Precourt is in this to have some fun with a pro sports investment and make some green. He's got the first part and is smart enough to know the second part will be hard to come by with is investment sitting on leased land at the state fairgrounds up by the tracks.

We'll see.

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