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Thread: Capital improvements for super bowl or other major event

  1. #1
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    Capital improvements for super bowl or other major event

    No question here. Just looking forward to hearing your opinion on the massive influx of cash and projects in advance of a large event.

    Here in Louisiana, we just wraped up (and i mean just barely with three days to sparetill the Super Bowl) a new parking garage and car rental facility at the airport, a new mile long street car line, and in the French Quarter new bike lanes, cross walk stripping, pedestrian islands in the road, new sidewalks, and miles of freshly paved street.

    These were all overdue projects. The sidewalks and streets seemed like they may have been original to the city's founding in 1718. Many locals have the feeling that these projects were completed because a bunch of out of towners and the national news networks were coming. While many local streets at the back of town remain unpaved and lacking sidewalks. On the positive side, the capital improvements, especially the street car and bike lanes, did lay the grownd work for future expansion and improvement.

    Wondering how other communities have used or ignored capital improvements before and after similare events like World's Fair, Oylmpics, or Super Bowl.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Shark Man View post
    No question here. Just looking forward to hearing your opinion on the massive influx of cash and projects in advance of a large event.

    Here in Louisiana, we just wraped up (and i mean just barely with three days to sparetill the Super Bowl) a new parking garage and car rental facility at the airport, a new mile long street car line, and in the French Quarter new bike lanes, cross walk stripping, pedestrian islands in the road, new sidewalks, and miles of freshly paved street.

    These were all overdue projects. The sidewalks and streets seemed like they may have been original to the city's founding in 1718. Many locals have the feeling that these projects were completed because a bunch of out of towners and the national news networks were coming. While many local streets at the back of town remain unpaved and lacking sidewalks. On the positive side, the capital improvements, especially the street car and bike lanes, did lay the grownd work for future expansion and improvement.

    Wondering how other communities have used or ignored capital improvements before and after similare events like World's Fair, Oylmpics, or Super Bowl.
    From what I've seen, it's been a real mixed bag. Some of CI has helped, others it's just rotted in place. The most recent example was London. For the South, the best example is Atlanta in the 90's.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  3. #3
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    As a former resident of Indiana and now working in Louisiana, I can say cities seem to be investing a lot more in infrastructure for the Super Bowl. To my knowledge, New Orleans hasn't focused on Capital Improvements (as much) in the past. This year - especially post Katrina - they seemed to have made several improvements for the tourism population. Indianapolis did the same, but was looking towards the future for utilization of those Capital Improvements after the Super Bowl. Other then Georgia Street, every improvements was a major investment into the city as it moved forward. New Orleans was much more focused on the tourism industry. Which the city relies heavily on the tourist population, so one can consider that a good thing. In fact, I don't think they capitalized as much as needed. I mean, street and street lights already needed fixed. The streetcar line will be nice as they move forward with the other planned lines. Yet, I find it unfortunate the city didn't focus on the riverfront. Many events took place along the riverfront, yet there wasn't much reinvestment. Not to say they have some great amenities already. But there are missing gaps that could have been filled. But that's my Midwest cynicism coming about.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I don't think the Super Bowl requires any special preparation beyond having the appropriate stadium. Although some places forfeit their chance at a Super Bowl just because they didn't build an appropriate stadium. Like you'll never see a Super Bowl in Denver just because they opted to have an outdoor field while being in a cold climate.

    As for the Olympics, that's a completely different beast. American cities have to have some significant state assistance in order to afford the games. It costs billions of dollars to get a city ready for the games. At lot of the venues that will be constructed will serve no purpose once the games are over. That's not necessarily a bad thing since it can be a engine for significant redevelopment as was seen in Atlanta. Their whole downtown is different after the 1996 games.

    Another interesting situation was what Denver did in 1976. They were actually selected to host the 1976 Winter Olympics but voters shot down the necessary tax increases to fund the project. There were also concerns about forcing development in all the environmentally sensitive ski resort communities. Now nearly 40 years later, Denver now more or less has the necessary infrastructure to host the Winter Games. With that said, Denver is trying to get the games again and is using that idea to try to get some improvements on I-70 in the mountains to alleviate congestion that is so frequent during the ski season.

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Major event infrastructure investment seems to be used as a rallying point to get improvements done that frankly should have happened years ago but lacked the political support.

    That said, sometimes it is the small things that make a lasting difference. In Houston, they planted groves of trees along the highways throughout the city to improve the appearance. In the process they found that it had a postive effect on air quality and has visually enhanced virtually the whole city--making a much better first impression. It wasn't a glamorous improvement, but it might be the longest-lasting.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    I don't think the Super Bowl requires any special preparation beyond having the appropriate stadium. Although some places forfeit their chance at a Super Bowl just because they didn't build an appropriate stadium. Like you'll never see a Super Bowl in Denver just because they opted to have an outdoor field while being in a cold climate.
    Even that's not true anymore. Next year the Super Bowl will be in New York. With all there is to do in Denver, I wouldn't bet against a Super Bowl in Denver at some point.
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    When we last had the Superbowl quite a bit of capital improvements were made. Major ones included:
    • New Boulevard for Gratiot
    • Restoration of the Washington Boulevard
    • Streetscaping on Woodward
    • Wayfinding signage
    • Storefront improvements

    These have all been successful.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MD Planner View post
    Even that's not true anymore. Next year the Super Bowl will be in New York. With all there is to do in Denver, I wouldn't bet against a Super Bowl in Denver at some point.
    NY/NJ is much warmer than Denver! It may be cold compared to MD, but for the majority of North America it is quite warm there. I know it is much warmer in NY than it is in Detroit or Chicago. All are roughly at the same latitude.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    The main point I was trying to make is that the NFL has decided that there will be a Super Bowl played outside in a cold weather city. At least next year. And why not? There were championship games played in New York, Chicago and Green Bay for years before the Super Bowl came along.

    By the way, if you look at average temperatures between Denver and New York, they are pretty close:

    Denver: January - 29.7 February - 33.4

    New York: January - 31.5 February - 33.6
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

  10. #10
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MD Planner View post
    The main point I was trying to make is that the NFL has decided that there will be a Super Bowl played outside in a cold weather city. At least next year. And why not? There were championship games played in New York, Chicago and Green Bay for years before the Super Bowl came along.

    By the way, if you look at average temperatures between Denver and New York, they are pretty close:

    Denver: January - 29.7 February - 33.4

    New York: January - 31.5 February - 33.6
    Temp is only one factor for cold. For us in the plains, lakes and mountains we look at windchill. Air tends to be dryer outside of the coast as well. Dry air is colder than moist air, that is why humidifiers work so well in homes.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  11. #11
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    Bet Peyton Manning wished it was warmer when he played the Ravens a few weeks ago... Was like 5 degrees.

    Doing a bit of research, it looks like Kansas City was going to get the Super Bowl in 2015 but the tax increases necessary for stadium improvements fell through.

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