Monday, April 21, 2014
What Do We Do With The Hirsch?
Russell: Everybody is looking for a tax write-off. Why can't we see if some of the casino's would want to take a sponsorship for it? Look at what Harrah's did with Louisiana Downs. It could be Margaritaville Fairgrounds Field or Horseshoe's Hirsch.
Fletch: So, you guys take the heavy sponsorship, do the heavy lifting, and then would they deal with the legislators as well?
Russell: Well two of them may not buy in on them since there are only three big ones.
Zack: I think you hit it on the head man when you talked about people wanting to go to the Hirsch. I was a mudbug season ticket holder and man, I can't imagine wanting to go over to the Hirsch. I was in Dallas this weekend visiting family for Easter, we found out there was a hockey game and it was at this place where it was a smaller version of the lower bowl of the Century Link. Maybe if rent if so high at Century Link that we can't have a hockey team...maybe we need a smaller venue.
Fletch: There's a part of me as a Shreveport guy that sees Bossier has the nice, big seated arena...why can't Shreveport have the same kind?
Zack: This little arena built over in Dallas was built for those purposes. They knew they wouldn't pull in HUGE crowds but that's the purpose of that smaller venue.
Fletch: 2,500 people in a 5,000 seat stadium looks a whole better than 4,000 in a 25,000 seated facility.
RP: 1) If a private corporation wants to do it, then go for it but if the city's talking about investing that much money into it, as a tax payer....2) how many businesses could Shreveport Bossier bring in after putting all of the money into the Hirsch...3) Iconic? We can't tear something down and build something new? Candlesticks? Boston knew when it was time to tear down their stadium. How many police officers will $10M fund or how many firefighters? What about making a deal with the Gold Dome and have a college game followed by a pro game?
Fletch: I wonder how Adam and the Gents would feel if they played a Thursday game at 6 and then the Mavericks play right after them. Or at BPCC they play early and Mavericks play right after them.
Fletch: One of the worst things the Maverick's did was the free-ticket giveaway. Once you make your product appear to be of no value, it will lose it's value.
Fletch: I don't know how we have a community forum in Shreveport, but I know they won't form one to discuss these things, at least we can try and stage one here. Maybe the right person will be listening and then we'll see something happen.
Ralph: Lack of coverage on the Tigers. On the Hirsch: don't pour $10M into that. Like Zack said, tear it down and build a smaller, newer venue.
Puck Man: Oh goodness...I like the Hirsch, I really do. Very fond memories in there. Boy it's tough to sink money into that thing though. I would rather see either a different arena or a new deal struck with the Century Link. Just not sure, never was really involved with the financials, but one of the things that comes to mind is perhaps the slide. When the team (Mudbugs) went to the CHL, the whole dynamic of the team changed. We lost all of our regional rivalries, it's more expensive to be in that league. I would love for hockey to be back here. I'm with RP on that, I'm not sure how many of the citizens dollars should go to this. As bad as I would love to have a team back, I'm just not 100% sure that the Hirsch should be the location for it. If somehow, someway, we could pour just a little bit of money into it to get the ice back, but with the ice system, the Hirsch is so much further in need of help, that it may not be economically feasible to do.
Fletch: I think we can forget hockey ever taking place at the Century Link any time in the next 5 years, they are now more of a concert venue, rehearsal hall than hockey arena.
Dan Newman, owner of the New Orleans VooDoo arena football team.
Dan Newman: It's not a facility issue, never has been here. Here's the issue with sports in Caddo-Bossier-Webster parish. There are only so many people here and there are only so many disposable dollars. We all vote by what we do with our disposable dollars and it's always been that way. Our population didn't explode enough to support $60M a month to support the river boats, and I think that's what declined the sports products. Century Link to open the doors is $4,000, just to open the doors for an event. The ability to do that comes from one place, ticket sales. The Mudbugs won a title and they could've stayed for another year if they sold 1,500 season tickets. Think about that, 1,500 season tickets? We are North Louisiana people and I'm a local business guy, every year the Mudbugs were here, I bought 18 season tickets, and I can't stand hockey, I don't understand it, but I did it to support what we had here. Same goes for when the Pirates were here. It's one thing to say "I want it" but it's another thing to write the check for it. People just don't understand the cost. The workers comp for the Mudbugs was $260,000 a year. If Denny Rogers would consider moving his business to New Orleans, I would help him drive his cars off that lot to here. He is one of the biggest local/minor athletics supporters.
ABC: Michael White, if it's true that he turned that job down I wouldn't blame it. All of those teams in the SEC for basketball do nothing to raise money for their own conference. If I were him I would've turned it down too and maybe gone to a different conference.