Ideas for Tucson
The recent international baseball event at Kino stadium where about 12,000 people attended over three days was such a success to be repeated.
How about hosting international baseball here? League games could be played here while weather in the Southern Hemisphere is cold.
Why not build a soccer field out there on some of that land downtown? Let go of grandiose plans and go for bleachers and field and associated health needs and forget the 10 storey stadium idea. Bring in soccer teams from across the states in the winter for practice and games. Lure international soccer in and get things going again. Build fancier facilities incrementally and avoid debt. Get rid of the moneylenders and go for what we can do here and now. Partner with Rio Nuevo and get soccer facilities over there.
THE BIG PROBLEM
Everybody in this town is charging too much rent, probably because of the debt load. The reasoning goes like this: if we owe a payment of X then we have to charge X+1. So nobody rents it because nobody has enough money and it stands empty. Teams can't afford X+1 so they don't have anywhere to go. If the rent is lowered then the teams would rent the facility and something would be gained. It appears that these facilities are owned by the people but the controllers are charging so much to use it, the people's teams can't use it. Lower the rents for Kino and Corbett and see them fill up.
How about free admission for little league kids plus an exhibition game for them the next time the Mexican league is here? This would boost attendance and stir up interest. Lower the bleachers seats to $1 per person! Kids free! Give families a place to go!
Another problem are the prices the vendors charge for food and drink. Monopolies do not lower the prices and result in price gouging. It's like the TCC that charges exorbitant rates for vendors to set up during events, which in turn raises the prices for the average guy who stumbles in there and the four kids scream for a $5 hotdog after he already paid $8 to park and more money to get in. And they wonder why their events are not so successful or the TCC stands empty.
Get rid of the vendor monopolies and charge a minimal fee to set up. Provide jobs and opportunity for vendors, which is jobs for the community. Let them set up and compete and they make a living, and the people have more food choices and lower food prices. Everyone benefits.
Free parking or $1 for all events. Parkwise reports dollar in dollar out in the revenue/expenditure line, so maybe they are padding their bank accounts at the expense of everyone else.
Get rid of confrontational management. If the facility they are managing is not profitable, fire them. Get rid of management that does not want to work internationally to attract teams and conventions.
• Lower rents for Corbett, Kino and TCC
• Lower admission charges
• Free parking
• lower vendor charges
• cancel vendor monopolies
• scale back Parkwise
The winter weather in Tucson is a huge advantage in attracting teams. There are many open rental units in town, which is an advantage unless the landlords demand exorbitant rent. Perhaps reduced rates for visiting teams in apartments, motels and condos could be arranged.
These are just a few ideas for improving the use of our public facilities that will increase revenue and give our families wholesome games and events to attend at a cost that all can afford.
Dorothy Prater Niemi October 2011