Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fort Wayne Leaders Simultaneously Support and Undermine Harrison Square Project

Cross-posted at Left of Centrist

Over at Downtown Fort Wayne Baseball they have posted the powerpoint presentations given by the different councilmembers. In Talarico and Pape's presentation, Slide 15 shows that Hardball Capital is projecting 200 events per year in the proposed downtown stadium. I wonder if they know that the city of Fort Wayne is actively COMPETING w/ them?

I'm staring at a contract the city partially paid for (provided to me through the mayor's office and IPFW) to try and find uses for Memorial Stadium in the event a stadium is built downtown. These alternate uses are in direct competition with what the Hardball Capital group said they want to do w/ the Harrison Square stadium.

Here's an excerpt from the contract given to the CSL consulting group:

"Various potential stadium renovation and reconfiguration alternatives will be discussed, providing feedback related to a number of potential development scenarios. In addition, survey participants will be asked to assess their interest in utilizing Memorial stadium as opposed to the proposed new downtown ballpark."

Is Hardball Capital aware of this consulting contract? Why in the world would the city be spending $30 Million on a new stadium only to try and find ways that the old stadium can compete w/ the new one? Here are some of the potential uses cited in the contract:

-Development of a hybrid sports/amphitheater venue
-Reconfigured baseball stadium that could also accommodate other sports such as football, soccer and lacrosse
-Fort Wayne Fever Soccer
-Local collegiate athletics

I think those of us that attended the YLNI panel discussion remember Hardball Capital talking about these very same uses for Harrison Square. Thus, the reuse of Memorial Stadium would DIRECTLY compete w/ Harrison Square. While I'm not the biggest supporter of the Harrison Square project, I certainly don't think the city should be financing it's construction while simultaneously undermining it's potential use...


Scott Greider said...
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Scott Greider said...

Is there a possibility that FW will become such a hoppin' place as a result of HS that it'll be able to fill both venues 200 days/year?!

Jeff Pruitt said...


There's also the possibility that Mark Souder will be totally convinced by my criticisms that he will switch parties and hire me as his chief of staff!