Comment

 May I summarize a lot of posts and comments.

The City constructs a $175 million ballpark, originally estimated to cost and leases it to a professional minor league baseball team. The first year's lease payment on the $175 million ballpark, the first year which presumably will have it's greatest attendance, is set in the amount of $32,171.00. 

The attendance exceeds expectations and the team is making more money than they probably anticipated and they rent the facility to the City for $15,000.00 more than their lease payment,
 

This unimaginable set of circumstances lead to questions: 1) was the City Manager misquoted when he said it would not cost the taxpayers anything, did he actually say it would not cost the team anything and the media misreported the quote or 2) is this the worst financial deal the City ever made ? 

It is hard for me to fathom what could be any worse.

 


 

Comments

David Z. said…
In Ed we still Trust!
Anonymous said…
Give this a thought.
Do you think the owners of the WooSox think "In Larry we Trust". If so who wins?
Anonymous said…
The odds have to overwhelmingly be in Lucchino's favor just because of his years of experience. If you couple that with the fact that this is his only job and he knows baseball and negotiations. Not defending Augustus but he had to run a City in addition to getting pillaged by Lucchino.
Common Sense said…
This blog is getting boring. I'd rather
go back to your pipedreams about ORH being a reliever to Logan. I'm not sure what you're try to prove? Are you trying to say that politicians and CEOs lie? What a big surprise. If the City has to take money from the general budget to subsidize the bonds for a few years I'm ok with that.
Common Sense said…
You guys should move to Shrewsbury like I did. Great schools, nice parks and shopping. We have a great senior center,
historic library and new public safety buildings. We also have really safe neighborhoods. I can take a walk in my neighborhood at 2am without the fear of getting muged or knifed. Make the move!!
Anonymous said…
The last post(s) highlight the underlying issues. Politicians either lied or were misled and this project will redirect money away from services we residents require. I would like to be able to walk without getting mugged or knifed, which most likely will not happen but... It is easy for someone from Shrewsbury, or from other neighboring towns , to drive to Polar Park enjoy a game then drive home and not have their taxes pay for the bonds instead of paying to pave their street which has been on a awaiting list for seven years.
Common Sense said…
I think at some point the City had a plan to get caught up with the backlog of streets and sidewalks. I know my Grandmother constantly called her city councilors, mayor and the DPW to pave her
dangerous road. I think it took 41 years to get it done. I agree with you when you say that the $175 million could have been used for other, more vital purposes. I'd be interested in finding out what the increase in business was for the Canal District during this baseball season. I would guess that it was a lot less than they expected. The professor from Holy Cross and other experts have said that the impact of a new sports stadium is about the same as a new Walmart store. Nice to read that they plan on holding concerts at the stadium. Maybe they can get Wayne Newton out of his nursing home to put on a show?
How about they show Ron Jeremy movies?





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Anonymous said…
Although I do not agree with Common Sense that the blog is getting boring I will give you a Black Hawk Helicopter Conspiracy Theory to temporarily spice up the blog.

A City Hall insider, code for my neighbor who works at City Hall, and I were talking about the T&G article on Wednesday on Jake Sanders leaving the City back in July. In the conversation about what Sanders did we discussed the number of people who were involved with the WooSox deal who left the City. It started with Tom Zidelis, the finance guy, then a lawyer named Beaton, a project guy named Craig Ormsby and now Jake Sanders.

Coincidence? Seems like a lot of people jumping off the bus before it goes over the cliff.

Anonymous said…
And special ed is asking how he should spend the american rescue monies. How about using it to keep your promise of not affecting the tax payers. My guess is no. He will spend it plus 20 %. And give the chosen few some more tifs.
Gary Samela said…
I find it somewhat boring because you have the same people (mainly us) commented on the same topics. It would be nice to get other viewpoints. I have a feeling that your going to keep up with your gloom and doom posts until Madison gets to full buildout in three years.
Anonymous said…
I am not as optimistic as you that Madison will have the full buildout in three years, which means we will be paying for a ballpark which was supposed to be cost neutral or profitable, which is the issue. I have read the newspaper accounts and with the exception of a few articles in the Worcester Business Journal, the only outlet which has vetted this project and asked any questions is a blog about the airport. None of the questions being asked seem unreasonable considering the amount of money the City spent and the effect on the taxes we pay for basic municipal services. I beleive Madison will build the housing but I don't think anything else. An article in the T&G just recounted the continued adverse effect that the ballpark has and is having on the businesses, and I presume the residents, in the Canal District. Asking pertinent questions about expenditures of public funds and questioning the public officials who made these expenditures is our right because ultimately it is our tax dollars they are spending.
Anonymous said…
Just asking the questions the City Council bobbleheads should be asking.
Common Sense said…
How many Worcester residents even know the finacials of the ballpark construction? If I had to guess it's probably 1 out of 10.
These same people don't even know that Worcester Airport has airlines and flights. It's hard to be for or against something that you don't know exists.
Not everyone is a good citizen like you.
Maybe large, taxpayer funded projects like this can be put up for a vote from Worcester's residents. I'm not sure if the City Charter will allow that.
Anonymous said…
The bobblehead City Council don't know the financials and that is why they were elected to a $30,000.00 per year part time job. Why would the residents need to know this!
Anonymous said…
A problem that is larger than 1 out of 10 people knowing there is a financial analysis is what I will refer to as the parrot syndrome. I was reading the comments on the recent T&G article on the effect of having the WooSox in the Canal District and one of the comments highlighted the fact that the WooSox hosted the WPS graduations for free, an issue that was disputed on this blog. I will speculate that someone will parrot that comment to someone who in turn will comment to someone else and so on. I think this is what City Hall counts on, people's opinions being formulated by inaccurate information not facts, which is one reason I have followed this blog. At least questions are being asked. I don't think the questions are being answered but at least they are being asked. It is not the solution to the problem of misinformation from City Hall but it is a start.
Anonymous said…
Worcester Business Journal posted an editorial about the city needing to become a better negotiator now that we have interest from developers.

There are many reasons developers are interested in Worcester and it’s not just because of TIFs being thrown around like candy.

The city has subsidized developments that undermine some of,its own highly prioritized goals, some of which the WBJ listed.

One example is the Mt Carmel development that will likely get a $10 million TIF while the deign will destroy the high priority of walkability. It will put a high volume garage and turning car traffic right on the walking path from Shrewsbury St tot he canal district, the exact opposite of what should be happening. Why not leverage the TIF to put the garage to the rear and not on the walking path?! Or to have the street level of the garage be retail and a park?

Another example was the Table Talk concentration of 400 units of low income housing on a single site where mixed income housing might be a better fit for the neighborhood. Don’t we want people with disposable income to live in an area where the other tax incentives already doled out are to encourage building of street level retail and restaurants ? A mix would help to support the other TIFs in a coordinated strategy.

Seems like a common sense editorial that city hall hopefully read.Use the tools that we have to support the results that the tools we already used to achieve their goals. Or just dole out taxpayer cash to the insiders club and let the chips fall where they may.. Taxes will be going up; they always do in Worcester, maybe they’d go up less if we had a coordinated strategy.