I’m still not sure why I read the Commercial Appeal. Aside from having to hold back the vomit building in the back of my throat as I read, and searching tirelessly for an important story not written by somebody named AP, it’s a daily utter disappointment. Today, surprisingly, there was something of interest written by somebody local, that wasn’t a scandal or some other fiasco. The headline reads:
Ok so maybe it is another fiasco, but at least it’s something I know a little about. Here are some things that I took away from this whole thing:
1. Memphis needs a new city run venue like we need a hole in the head.
The city cannot run venues period. The city cannot hire other companies to run venues, or hold them accountable to pay their power bills. Why, in the name of all that is holy do we need another city owned venue for our city to mess up? Aren’t we happy with the 4 we have now?
2. The NFL told us to bugger off years ago
I don’t see any kiss and make up deals here. They’re not expanding any time soon, and neither the Colts nor the Ravens are making any noise about the need to skulk off into the night without warning to some new town. If they did, they’d probably go to San Antonio just to piss the Saints off. Also, as much as I love the Tigers, until they can stitch together 3 consecutive winning seasons they should be playing on a High School Field.
3. $150 million my ear
The FedEx Forum cost $250M. Or that’s what they tell us anyway. It seats about 20k people. Football stadiums are bigger than arenas, and even have roofs these days. Oh the humanity! The report says $300M. Reliant Stadium in Houston cost the city $442M. I’m sure we’re capable of building an uglier less functional building for more, but that seems like a good price range.
4. The Liberty Bowl
The Liberty Bowl currently seats 62,000 people. The proposed stadium would hold about 45,000. That means, that if we build a smaller stadium we have to change the name from “The Liberty Bowl” to “The Liberty Cup”, full meal football value at appetizer sizes.
5. The Findings
The funny thing about findings is that they are findings because they were unknown. If they weren’t findings they would be knowns and the city wouldn’t have had to fork out $140,000 to “find” them out. So, when a city administrator says the findings are wrong, that means they don’t fit in line with the administrations assumptions. Furthermore, when that same administrator say the findings make assumptions, that means that the assumptions made don’t fit the administrators assumptions. Finally, with all this said, I think that the findings/assumptions of a company that has consulted on many facilities such as this are more credible than the findings/assumptions of a city administrator who lacks the luxury of experience in such matters. The simple fact that they won’t release the report in its current state speaks volumes. Can anyone say damage control?
Memphis has a lot more important problems to deal with than creating a handout to building contractors. The fantasy that a new stadium will create long-term jobs is just that, a fantasy. This is an attempt to place another jewel in the crown of King Willie, and no ones buying it. Not to mention that the University wants a stadium on campus, but when did the desires of the single tenant of a building ever come into the equation?
Memphis, save your money and buy stock in Taco Bueno franchises, or something that would actually bring consistent, year-round cash flow into the city. A new stadium, is just another building that we don’t need, in a city that needs so much…like effective leadership.