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Thread: One More New Arena Thread...
03-06-2012 01:18 AM #1
One More New Arena Thread...
The Maryland Stadium Authority released its study on a proposed expansion to the Baltimore Convention Center today. The plans include a rebuilt and expanded hotel on the location of the Sheraton, and a new 18,500-seat arena.
The project would cost $900 million ($400m for the convention center, $325m for the arena and $175m for the hotel). The money for the arena and hotel would come from private sources based around the owner of the Sheraton, Willard Hackerman. The rest would come from the city.
So...is this going to be our time to get a real, honest-to-goodness arena in this burg? Or is it yet another tease forcing the continued existence of the Horror Of Howard Street?
03-06-2012 08:35 AM #2
This is Baltimore. Very doubtful it happens.
03-06-2012 09:15 AM #3
Man, that's expensive! Might as well build the Ravens a new stadium (or put a dome on M&T Bank) and host a Super Bowl with that type of expense. Getting back on topic, very interesting question on whether or not this happens. On one hand it does seem like a luxary. The mayor described it as a "game changer" for the city giving Baltimore a unique advantage over other cities for business conventions and other type of events. And no doubt it would help the overal development of the city maybe in the same sense that the Inner Harbor has. However, from that point of view it sounds like a luxary.
On the other hand, First Mariner Arena is clearly deteriorating. As bad as the arena is, it still generates a profit. But how much longer is it going to be functional? IMO First Mariner at this point is running on borrowed time. So if Baltimore does not act on finding a replacement of some sorts there is going to be a point where First Mariner is no longer functional and then you lose the profits it brings in.
One other thing to consider, as expensive of a project this is Willard Hackerman is providing the city with an incredible opportunity by offering to pay arena and hotel costs. If the city passes, I doubt another opportunity for anything in the same atmosphere would come along in a long while. Hackerman is also 93-years old. The guy has built Harborplace, the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Maybe he chips in for the convention center as well to make this a lasting legacy.
It will be interesting to see what happens. The study made it very clear, the project would no doubt be profitable. How awesome would it be for Baltimore to host a Final Four? Maybe a Caps or Terps home game a couple of times a year? It is an incredible opportunity considering the private financing committment in place. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Last edited by thundercleetz; 03-06-2012 at 09:18 AM.
03-06-2012 09:18 AM #4With luck, Fry said, the economy would improve by the time the project gets under way, likely not before 2016.
03-06-2012 10:21 AM #5
IMO, only one of the Red Line and the arena are going to happen. I know the city is on the hook for a small portion of the funds for each project but it's still a lot of money to a city that is broke. The arena sounds like the more likely project since most of it's covered by private money and there aren't the detractors there are like there are for the Red Line, but it's still a huge project that is going to screw up downtown for years to come and people just cannot be inconvenienced in Baltimore...see the Grand Prix.
03-08-2012 06:55 AM #6
As for the Red Line, something will come of it. You just don't throw away federal funding for infrastructure. If the project is not the Red Line specifically, there will be a project that makes use of that federal funding they've applied for. Whether it be, like you said Sean, a trolley downtown, or something else.
I still think both projects happen, but the convention center is definitely the priority. The Red Line, or whatever variation of it, we might not see until 15-20 years however.
04-02-2012 08:06 AM #7
04-13-2012 09:37 AM #8
Sounds like this thing is actually going to happen, and soon.
04-13-2012 09:51 AM #9
04-13-2012 10:03 AM #10
Can't remember where I read it but the city is already looking to sell naming rights for the arena.
04-13-2012 10:12 AM #11
04-13-2012 10:13 AM #12
04-13-2012 11:05 AM #13
So when do the Phoenix Coyotes move here?
04-13-2012 11:59 AM #14
04-13-2012 02:20 PM #15