Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Single-A minor league baseball stadium development

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Easton, Maryland
    Posts
    29

    Single-A minor league baseball stadium development

    I wish I could do a poll function with this forum. I think the jury is still out, but, I would tend to think that it is not a good investment. I have ordered "Minor League Baseball and Economic Development" and believe it should have some great case studies on this.

    Do you think it is a catalyst?

    Do you think the investment for single-A minor league teams is worthwhile?

    How do you measure the economic benefit (if any) to the surrounding area?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sasebo, Japan
    Posts
    104
    What other development will be coupled with the stadium? A stadium by itself is pretty much a waste of space.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Promoting synergies...
    Posts
    3,558
    Quote Originally posted by jamesrouse View post
    I wish I could do a poll function with this forum. I think the jury is still out, but, I would tend to think that it is not a good investment. I have ordered "Minor League Baseball and Economic Development" and believe it should have some great case studies on this.

    Do you think it is a catalyst?

    Do you think the investment for single-A minor league teams is worthwhile?

    How do you measure the economic benefit (if any) to the surrounding area?
    Rarely if even does publicly financing a stadium make sense. When you add single A to the mix I doubt it ever would pencil especially if itís a short season single A. If the goal is another entertainment venue and community pride and the city can afford the subsidy then do it. If you think it will pay for itself then and the team tells you as much then run away.

    Single A has 70 home games and averages approximately 3,000 fans. If each fan spends $35 then you have a $7.3M organization. That might sound impressive but the majority of the $7 million is already being spent in the community at movie theaters, bars and restaurants and other entertainment offerings.

    Other things to consider the jobs created by the team are low paying, the city has to maintain the facility, minor league teams fold and start all the time so a long term lease is not worth the paper its printed on and many cities are thinking the same thing so if the ownership group is savvy they will be playing you off multiple other locations.

    Rarely does a stadium of any level catalyze development. Sometimes it can catalyze redevelopment in a downtown but in both cases the successful examples had other dollars lined up at the same time to go in as well. If you publicly fund a stadium and then do nothing else then nothing will happen. For it to catalyze development have a long-term plan and a developer at the ready to spend or be prepared as the city to pay for other improvements.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,471
    Quote Originally posted by jamesrouse View post
    Do you think it is a catalyst?
    No. It adds to the overall aura, but not a catalyst at A. I used to work very close to a AAA and there was increase in aura and prestige and some more money in the area, but lots of free money to get them there...

    Quote Originally posted by jamesrouse View post
    Do you think the investment for single-A minor league teams is worthwhile?
    It depends on the area.

    Quote Originally posted by jamesrouse View post
    How do you measure the economic benefit (if any) to the surrounding area?
    If there is a little more money in the area afterward above trend. But of course they are going to want tax breaks and a TIF and this and that and free money and free and money and who knows.

    Eh.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    What other development will be coupled with the stadium? A stadium by itself is pretty much a waste of space.
    My thoughts exactly. If you can figure out how to use the stadium year round for other events then you might be onto something, but for as few events as baseball generates you're just providing a limited number of low paying part-time jobs.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    Posts
    10,119
    Look at the Dayton Dragons. They sell out every game. The stadium is great. The atmosphere is spectacular. The area around it is still completely dead. Maybe one bar popped up. It did nothing for the revitalization of the area surrounding it.

    Is it good for the city... sure. Is it a good use of economic development dollars.... not so sure about that.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  7. #7
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Paris of Appalachia
    Posts
    3,902
    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    Rarely does a stadium of any level catalyze development. Sometimes it can catalyze redevelopment in a downtown but in both cases the successful examples had other dollars lined up at the same time to go in as well. If you publicly fund a stadium and then do nothing else then nothing will happen. For it to catalyze development have a long-term plan and a developer at the ready to spend or be prepared as the city to pay for other improvements.
    This has been my experience both as an observer of stadium projects in various cities and from being involved in the creation of a redevelopment district at a sports facility. It seems to me that stadiums and other sports facilities should be viewed as amenities and not economic development catalysts. A stadium can be certainly be part of a larger redevelopment effort, but there has to be planning and funding in-place to couple the stadiums construction with that of a master developers overall efforts, or with the implantation of a well thought-out development plan. Downtown stadiums aren't that much different from the a suburban stadium in a parking lot off a highway exit in that each certainly gives your city an amenity, but neither is likely to be a stand-alone driver of economic development.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,471
    Quote Originally posted by biscuit View post
    This has been my experience both as an observer of stadium projects in various cities and from being involved in the creation of a redevelopment district at a sports facility. It seems to me that stadiums and other sports facilities should be viewed as amenities and not economic development catalysts. A stadium can be certainly be part of a larger redevelopment effort, but there has to be planning and funding in-place to couple the stadiums construction with that of a master developers overall efforts, or with the implantation of a well thought-out development plan. Downtown stadiums aren't that much different from the a suburban stadium in a parking lot off a highway exit in that each certainly gives your city an amenity, but neither is likely to be a stand-alone driver of economic development.
    I forgot: my wife and I recently spoke in KC, MO and we stayed in a hotel across the highway from the Royals' stadium. There was nowhere to eat there that popped up as a result of the development. Well, maybe in the hotel, but no new bars or pubs popped up. We were surprised at how empty it was just outside the east gates.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  9. #9
    A major problem with stadiums is that even if built in downtown locations, they try to keep all the accessory souvenir and food dollars spent in the stadium and not in the surrounding area. Thus they do not spur economic development. I would suggest that even the success of Denver's LoDo area is in spite of the Rockies stadium, not because of it. In San Diego, the Gaslamp district predates the new ball park etc. Even in older stadium situations like Fenway, they are increasingly trying to keep fans' dollars in the stadium and out of the community.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sasebo, Japan
    Posts
    104
    Gaslamp in San Diego was dying before the stadium was built. There were some clubs and bars, an Old Spaghetti Factory, and a few restaurants, but that was an area that was completely dead after 5pm, every Sunday through Wednesday. Think about it like this: Western Metal Supply hadn't had a tenant in the building in over 25 years when it was finally incorporated into the stadium. Homeless were everywhere, families didn't feel safe, and hotels pretty much were there for the convention crowds.

    The stadium did a lot for that area, but it took a ton of money: public and private; and a lot of thought on what other uses go well there. Eateries, shopping, hotels, residences. You can't construct a stadium as a destination that people get in there car, drive to, watch a game, and then drive to another location to do everything else. What you end up creating is an area that will be blighted in the future. What happens when the team goes under, or leaves? Especially Singe A ball.

    I think you also have to look a the demographics of the area. What other attractions can take away from the success of the project? Or possibly enhance it?

    My opinion on stadiums is that they should be incorporated into a larger scale development plan. Along the vein of "We're going to revitalize this area by developing: housing, shopping, industry, oh and we can also put a stadium here too, that will be a good draw." Not "Let's build a stadium and a strip mall across the street that has a Subway and a Starbucks in it."

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dixie
    Posts
    6,079
    I worked in city that got a Single A franchise. To echo what others said, it enhanced the livability of the city. The city is a regional center for a tri-state area and it gave the people one more thing to do when they came in for the wekends. For us locals, it gave us something to do during the week. It helped the existing restaurants and shops, but didn't cause any new ones to open up. The team is still there after nearly 20 years so it's a sucess.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,979
    I have done market analyses in districts including stadiums. For the most part, they should be viewed only as supplemental sources of spending. A stadium alone will not draw in hotels, restaurants, retail, or maybe even a gas station. The season is too short, there are too few games, they do not draw fans, and they tend to concentrate spending in the stadium rather than in businesses around it. As a small piece of an overall district strategy, they may have some merit. But they should never be assumed to be an anchor.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Heartland of America
    Posts
    253
    Our city has had a team for many years. The Stadium was fully renovated about 8 years ago. I would say its not much of a direct impact, however it is a nice piece of our main park area. They are good corporate citizens in our community. Its a nice amenity, and its impact is more indirect as part of a bigger picture of what makes a town an attractive place to live.

  14. #14
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,586
    Blog entries
    3
    Class A is literally bush league, just a step above college baseball. As Whose Yur Planner said, it'll be a nice amenity for residents, especially if the community promotes itself as "family friendly", but that's all.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sasebo, Japan
    Posts
    104
    I don't think I would go to a Single A game even if they gave me free tickets...

  16. #16
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,471
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Class A is literally bush league, just a step above college baseball. As Whose Yur Planner
    Whose Yur Planner is offline
    said, it'll be a nice amenity for residents, especially if the community promotes itself as "family friendly", but that's all.
    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    I don't think I would go to a Single A game even if they gave me free tickets...
    I played hardball as a pitcher until I was 35 and still love the game, probably more than is healthy. There are far, far fewer players dogging it in the bush leagues than in subsidized billion dollar stadiums where you have to drop a C note for the privilege of consuming their product, and where I won't go, but I'll go watch the minor league hockey and baseball around here no problem and have more fun with my family.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dixie
    Posts
    6,079
    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    I don't think I would go to a Single A game even if they gave me free tickets...
    I've been a baseball fan for practically my whole life and seen everything from college ball up to Cubs, White Sox, Twins and Reds games. I enjoy it at every level. Single A is a bit frustrating because of the level of play and the skills aren't quiet there yet. However, the fans are really connected to the game and the team. The atmosphere at the game is great. I've also seen players that made to the majors and it was kinda fun seeing them. The city had a CBA teams for a while and those games were pretty fun to watch as well.

    Like ColoGI said, the games are very affordable and very family friendly. Plus, the newer stadiums are well designed and a great place to see the game.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by jamesrouse View post
    I wish I could do a poll function with this forum. I think the jury is still out, but, I would tend to think that it is not a good investment. I have ordered "Minor League Baseball and Economic Development" and believe it should have some great case studies on this.

    Do you think it is a catalyst?

    Do you think the investment for single-A minor league teams is worthwhile?

    How do you measure the economic benefit (if any) to the surrounding area?
    I certainly wouldn't discourage someone from building a ball field, they are a good amenity, minor league games are good cheap family fun (and usually include a bleacher section that is good cheap getting-drunk fun)... but I'd be leery about giving out a whole lot in public funds to make it happen.

    Ultimately it's trying to grab a share of entertainment dollars, it's not real economic development. At best you might keep some dollars from leaving town, or bring a bit of money into town, and while I don't know if it could be described as a catalyst a nice stadium in the right place of town could at least help cauterize a wound.

    At the end of the day the average Class A team is going to have 70 ticketed events, maybe a couple concerts, and a few days where the local high schoolers play on the field... if you put it in the right place in town maybe a few people stumble into a local bar or eatery before or after games, and if you put it out by the highway, maybe someone gets McDonalds on the way home (obviously I'm a fan of the former scenario)... but it's not going to become a Wrigleyville.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Gig City
    Posts
    2,657
    My grad thesis was on public vs. private financing of stadiums and the successes with case studies. The first factor I discovered was the type of financing, whether it was 100% public or 100% private or a mix didn't matter in the success rate of a stadium, and by success I mean was pulling a profit (I had 1998 data at the time for all 4 major sports). Football stadiums tend to do the best followed by baseball, but in all cases only a few examples were making money.

    There also is the way the revenue is shared to be considered as has been mentioned. Does the city build the stadium and all the associated infrastructure but not get a cut of the parking or concessions revenue? In most cases the stadium operator or home team got to keep most or all of these revenues.

    In the city I live in there is a battle royale going on regarding public financing of a stadium for A ball. The price tag being thrown around is ~$40M in public contribution. The city hasn't formally asked the county for anything yet. We have a pretty lively downtown with a community college and fortune 500 company located there. There is also a waterfront convention center recently finished which was also financed with public dollars and is actually pulling a profit (rare for a public convention center).

    Ultimately if the city here decides to build a stadium I can only support it if it is part of a combined downtown plan. We have enough parking currently to meet the needs of a stadium in the uptown area. It is 3-4 blocks away from most of the downtown activity and could spur the reach of that downtown another block uptown. There is also development going on around one of the proposed locations.

    If you build a stadium in a field or suburban area just to build one you are wasting money, if it is part of a downtown or urban area and there is a plan integrated with other uses and opportunities it can be looked at as an investment in the downtown, similar to a convention center.
    @GigCityPlanner

  20. #20
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,172
    The one here in the Appleton, WI area, located in an unincorporated area (Grand Chute Township) just outside of the City of Appleton, is about to undergo a $5-6M renovation. The team, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, is the single-A affiliate (Midwest League) of the Milwaukee Brewers.

    http://www.postcrescent.com/article/...0602/306080075

    It is located in a very suburban 'greenfield' area by the US 41/WI 15 interchange, a short distance west of the city.

    Site:
    https://maps.google.com/?ll=44.28171...55189&t=h&z=14

    Mike

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Heartland of America
    Posts
    253
    Our team plays in our old city stadium which was renovated a few years back. Its close to the river and a nice part of our riverfront.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. The Minor league baseball thread
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 16
    Last post: 29 Mar 2012, 9:37 AM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last post: 10 Dec 2007, 3:36 PM
  3. Minor League Baseball
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 29 Aug 2005, 10:44 AM
  4. Replies: 4
    Last post: 28 Jan 2005, 3:36 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last post: 08 Sep 2003, 4:26 PM