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Sports pavilion info
#1
Well, it looks like just a couple of years into this project, it's not meeting revenue projections/needs, and they're considering closing the facility to the public during some tournaments, despite the fact that having it open to residents year-round was part of the initial sales job for the project:

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/nov/02...n-courts-/
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#2
This has always been an end around the NCAA and their recruiting rules.  Having basketball tournaments that bring elite high schoolers to a city owned facility is perfectly fine with the NCAA.  Having them play at a university facility would be a violation of NCAA rules.  Having the tournaments here allows recruits to come to Lawrence and then take an unofficial visit to K.U.

The question you should be asking yourself is this; does the K.U. basketball program enhance the city such that an investment in the program also benefits the city?

I was speaking with someone not long ago who works in administration at K.U. on the financial side.  He told me that for every 10,000 empty seats at a football game, both the city and the university lose about $1M.  If the program is doing very bad and there are 30,000 empty seats, that's $3M in lost revenue to both the city and the university.  Multiply that by 6 or 7 home game each year, multiply that by the team having been bad for several years now and what you really have is a whole bunch of lost dollars for … (fill in your favorite social program).

The basketball program has been top notch for years.  But it's a competitive business.  There's no guarantee it will be at the top forever.  Like every business, it needs investments from time to time.  Rock Chalk Park helps guarantee zero empty seat at Allen Field House, 20-25 times per year, year after year.
Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.  
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#3
I don't know anything about basketball and I don't particularly care about it.

My point, which you like to ignore, is that this project was sold to the public in a certain way, and isn't meeting the projections used to sell it, and now they're considering taking away one of the main selling points for a lot of people, that Lawrence residents would always be able to use the facility.

I said all of this while it was being discussed/debated, that these projects often don't work out as planned/promised.

If they wanted to sell it the way you do, they could have done that instead.  Then we could have debated that version.  Personally, I'd like for universities to be about academics, not athletics.
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#4
Maybe 5 or 6 years ago, during one of the rounds of conference realignment, I was listening to a segment on NPR that suggested that if the Big 12 folded and if Kansas were relegated to one of the smaller conferences like the Mountain West, enrollment at K.U. might drop by 25%.  Try to imagine what Lawrence would look like with 25% fewer students.  Imagine what housing would look like with 25% fewer students.  Imagine how many businesses would go out of business, forcing people to relocate.

Sure, getting big time sports out of universities would be great, I guess.  But that's not the reality we live in.  If that happened, Emporia State and Ft. Hays State and Pitt. State, all with lower tuitions, might look just as attractive as K.U. without the Jayhawks.  

Have you ever been to Rock Chalk Park?  It's beautiful.  It's free to Douglas Co. residents.  The "T" goes right to the front door.  

It's not being used "exactly" as it was billed, but it's pretty damn close.  Next year the Junior Olympics will be held here.  Hotels in Lawrence are booked solid.  Hotels in Topeka and K.C. are booked.  Lot's of money flowing into the area.  

Again, we can stick our heads in the sand and pretend big time sports like this shouldn't be so big time, but the reality is that big time sports does exist and that money is going to flow into Lawrence or it's going to go somewhere else.
Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.  
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#5
All of those positives come with associated negatives, like congestion/traffic/need for law enforcement.

I've never been and very likely will never go there.  But I know some new residents who love it - they live nearby.  From my recollection, the idea that the facility would always be available to residents, even during tournament weekends, was a strong selling point.  And, it made it sound more like a "rec center" to some.

So far, I haven't seen any sort of detailed analysis of costs/benefits on the project, but I'm always skeptical of rosy overly-optimistic projections, as you know.  The article mentions that even though we essentially hit the "target number of tournaments" established by Corliss to generate a certain amount of revenue, we're not getting that much. They don't specify what exactly that revenue is - it might be the city's share of sales taxes, in part, as we get a very small percentage of the sales taxes.

Perhaps if KU didn't have a big sports program, they'd invest more in their academic programs as far as time/energy/resources, and thus attract different students.  It may be a bit old-fashioned, but I think universities should be about educating students.
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#6
(11-05-2016, 08:09 AM)jafs3 Wrote: All of those positives come with associated negatives, like congestion/traffic/need for law enforcement.

I've never been and very likely will never go there.  But I know some new residents who love it - they live nearby.  From my recollection, the idea that the facility would always be available to residents, even during tournament weekends, was a strong selling point.  And, it made it sound more like a "rec center" to some.

So far, I haven't seen any sort of detailed analysis of costs/benefits on the project, but I'm always skeptical of rosy overly-optimistic projections, as you know.  The article mentions that even though we essentially hit the "target number of tournaments" established by Corliss to generate a certain amount of revenue, we're not getting that much.  They don't specify what exactly that revenue is - it might be the city's share of sales taxes, in part, as we get a very small percentage of the sales taxes.

Perhaps if KU didn't have a big sports program, they'd invest more in their academic programs as far as time/energy/resources, and thus attract different students.  It may be a bit old-fashioned, but I think universities should be about educating students.

"All those positives come with associated negatives, like congestion/traffic/need for law enforcement."  -  Couldn't that exact same statement be made for having a major university here?  Thousands of students surely add to congestion.  Surely they add to traffic.  Surely they create a need for more law enforcement.  I would add they drive down wages while driving up housing costs.  Time to rethink whether we want K.U. in Lawrence at all?  

Intuitively, I think education is a good investment.  Intuitively, I think job creation is a good investment.  Intuitively, I think promoting good health is a good investment.  I don't need a detailed analysis of costs/benefits to be in favor of those things.  

My visit to Rock Chalk Park was midday, midweek.  There were probably 100 people out there.  Most were seniors.  It was very much a rec center.  When calculating those costs and benefits, don't forget to include the reduced health care costs of having seniors in better physical condition.  Unless you want always look at the negatives, in which case I'm sure it's true some of those seniors suffer injuries associated with their working out.  

Just out of curiosity, Jafs, but why the emphatic statement that you will likely never go there?
Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.  
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#7
Yes, college towns have negative as well as positive aspects.

If you feel that the positives outweigh the negatives, then it's a good deal for you.  If not, then you'd be happier living elsewhere.  Personally, I like living here - but I don't pretend that there aren't downsides to the large student population.

I just think it's always important to see both sides of things, especially when new projects are sold in terms of glowing positive projections that often don't pan out in practice.

Unsurprising that midday midweek would be mostly seniors, given that a lot of other people would be at work then.  Wow, 100 people in a town of 100K - that's a huge 1/10 of 1%.

I agree that education is a good investment - that's why I'd like for colleges to focus on educating students.  And that promoting good health is as well - I wouldn't have objected to a modest rec center on the west side on about the same scale as the other rec centers in town.  "Job creation" is a bit more complex.
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#8
(11-05-2016, 08:48 AM)jafs3 Wrote: Unsurprising that midday midweek would be mostly seniors, given that a lot of other people would be at work then.  Wow, 100 people in a town of 100K - that's a huge 1/10 of 1%.
Your fixation with numbers is interesting, but you fundamentally misuse them.

If I were to take a snapshot of just about any service in town, I could make an argument to eliminate that service.  Randomly, on any Wednesday at 2:15pm (midday, midweek), very few are on the "T" or in the library.  Eliminate them?  At that specific day and time, how many crimes or how many house fires?  Eliminate police and fire?  

Yes, I randomly went there during a date and time when it's least likely to be busy.  Kinda like going to an elementary school late Sunday night.  Eliminate that?  

In fact, it was kinda busy for that time, and likely to be much busier when people get off work or out of school.  Busier still during weekends.  Busier still during events.  

"One tenth of one percent" is beyond misleading.
Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.  
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#9
You're the one who used the number, I just analyzed it and put into a context.

I've always liked math, and been pretty good at it.

I agree it's just a snapshot, and more information would be better if we wanted to get a better overall view of usage.
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#10
I don't follow sports or go to sporting events, so I won't go for those.  And I don't need free rec facilities any more (although I used them a lot earlier in my life), so I leave them for people that need them.

If for some reason I did want/need to use city facilities, there are others closer and easier to access that I'd probably use.

That's to answer your question.

By the way, I'm almost certain that the folks I spoke of who like RCP could easily afford other options, based on what I know about their financial situation, for what that's worth.
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