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"Stadium" at Mile "last chance"

Discussion in 'Milwaukee' started by Epikoinos, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. jbmindtrick

    jbmindtrick New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    You go Peter, and let them have it. It's got to be frustrating as all he&& to put up idea after idea and have it shot down because of someone's individual agenda, whether on the outside or on these boards. I don't really care where it goes in WI I just want it and will be thankful (read 4 season tix for as long as I can) if we are so honored to get one.
     


  2. hellothere

    hellothere New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    IF this is the last chance then hopefully it will happen. Getting tired of driving 2 1/2 hours to see a bad team in chicago play.
     
  3. 5x300games

    5x300games New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    OMG, I almost wet myself when I read that. Too funny...
     
  4. MU88

    MU88 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    My suggestion? Let me start with the notion that from everything that have reported on this board, I believe your group is doing things backwards. It appears that the group is looking for a site to develop, instead of partnering with a developer to develop a project that includes a stadium. Unless you have a guy like Gary Grunau working privately on your behalf, I don't see the why you trying to develop a project to take to developers, instead of interesting developers to partner with you to develop the project.

    Your sole customers should be potential developers with the sole goal of selling your belief that a stadium can be used as a magnet to attract residential, retail and commercial customers. See e.g.,

    http://www.dinersteincompanies.com/fw/main/Game_Day_Condominiums-424.html

    for a company doing real estate projects around an existing stadium. If this works, why not build the stadium in conjunction with the condos?

    If you can't convince someone who gambles daily on the real estate market that the parameters of the project are worthwhile, the project probably isn't worthwhile. That said, I think the project has merit. To a developer, the use of a stadium may attract interest to a project and make a project more successful. To the local government, a free stadium plus a large retail/commercial development would be interesting. While the mayor's office may say that they don't want you to do a project on a certain piece of land, the answer may be different if they are staring at actual plans from an established developer. The political pressure is different.

    My plan would be to quit looking for land, look for a real estate developer first. Ignore finding an owner for the team at this point in time. Face it, if you have an empty new stadium with boxes and 8000 season tickets already sold, you will be able to find an owner. You need a major real estate developer to partner with, to develop the plan that makes economic sense. Get the developers excited about the project and turn it over to them. Put them in charge and have them locate the site, put together a package of retail, commercial development, along with the stadium, that they (not you) can present to local government. There are significant parcels of land in the area wherein a mixed use project with a stadium would interest officials.

    Further, as you must already know, no doesn't really mean no in Milwaukee politics. I was told 7 or 8 years ago that the city had no interest in an Embassy Suites on 4th and Wisconsin. I had a developer lined up to build the hotel with no financing. A few years later, the city changed its mind and worked with a developer on a similar project. That said, the department of City Development is more than happy to work with established developers. The city offered numerous parcels of land around downtown to the developer for the hotel. However, none of these pacels worked for my client's project.

    With the right developer behind you, I think that some middle ground can be found to make the development profitable for a developer and satisfy the interests of local government. For all I know, you have a developer, and the city is still against the project. But, from the outside looking in, it doesn't appear that way. If a handful of guys, with no real estate experience and no financing, propose to build a stadium to me, I would probably reject them as a matter of course. If Trammell Crow comes to my office with a $500 million development plan that includes a stadium, my interest level would increase slightly.

    Finally, with respect to stadium costs, the prefabricated steel stadium put up by UCF is a significantly cheaper alternative. None of the other stadiums you describe were prefabricated. I credit your group for thinking out of the box with the roller field. However, there are other options besides the traditional stadium typically constructed. I urge you to check them out. As I mentioned, the UCF stadium which opens this fall seats 45,000+ and cost around $47 million (of a $60 million project). It is a very nice venue. Very nice. And, relatively cheap.

    Finally, I hope this project works out. I really do. I know that I am not privy to inside info so maybe I am all wet. But, from the outside looking in, I don't see the project as leaked, to be possible in this community at this point in time.
     


  5. fclalala

    fclalala New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2000
    Location:
    Beloit, WI
    The UCF stadium was initially supposed to cost around $47 million. The <a href="http://media.www.centralfloridafuture.com/media/storage/paper174/news/2006/05/29/News/Graduate.Fellows.Assistants.To.Get.Tuition.Waivers-2014513.shtml">new estimate is $65 million and possibly higher</a>
     
  6. 5x300games

    5x300games New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    MU88, I hope you have experience getting a professional soccer stadium built because you're telling a guy who's already built one that he doesn't know what he's doing.
     
  7. Peter Wilt

    Peter Wilt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Location:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    Actually that was the first thing i did when i joined the team. We partnered with DC developers Global Equity Partners. We have also discussed partnering with Gary Grunau, Towne Realty and other local and national developers. In each case, efforts collapsed due to varying reasons, but all having to do with the economics or viability.

    That concept was a key component of several of our previous efforts, but the weak TIF laws in Wisconsin, the city's unwillingness to proactively assist and the cost of parking structures scared off the developers.

    We did and they didn't.

    i agree and we've been doing that only to run into dead ends each time due to the factors mentioned above - among other things. You have obviously been following these efforts, so I'm a little surprised that you didn't realize that we had been working with developers. A couple of them have been mentioned publicly. Several have not.

    To quote DCD's Rocky Marcoux, "Soccer will come to Milwaukeeover my dead body." i may be a glass is half full kind of guy, but i can also take a hint.

    See above.

    See post above. Also, even if we could build a stadium from scratch for $40M somewhere else, the economics wouldn't work out as well as at WSFP due to the low cost of the site and the revenue opportunities, neither of which could be replicated at any other site in the area.

    i agree that it is a real long shot.

    peter
     
  8. MU88

    MU88 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    I knew you had some contact with developers, but not to the extent you suggest. I told you that I could be all wet since I didn't know all the facts. From what I heard, second hand albeit, was that you were looking for a majority owner/developer, not a developer alone. As I mentioned above, I think ownership is the easy part.

    Rocky may be a pain in the butt. The last project I was associated with sailed through and I didn't have to deal with him or the mayor's office. Like I said, I think the timing is wrong in this community for what you are proposing. That said, no one is in the same job forever. The mayor won't be in office forever, although in Milwaukee it will probably be a very long time. Too bad. This mayor only does what he believes will make him popular. He really doesn't have any vision or core beliefs. Norquist, at least tried, to a certain degree. I don't think Wisconsin TIF law is sole problem. It can be overcome. Local governments can make it work if they want to.

    Have you talked to the suburbs about a TIF? Glendale did a fairly large TIF for Bayshore. Maybe the mall's owners would like to do the same thing on the south or southwest side of town. Lots of land in New Berlin, Franklin, Muskego, etc. Muskego has be trying to attract downtown development for years. It has a huge vacant plot of land where the Parkland Mall used to sit although it might be a little small for a studium and development, unless you incorporate the land across Janesville.
     
  9. Peter Wilt

    Peter Wilt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Location:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    Talked to some of the suburbs including Glendale, Tosa, Franklin and Oak Creek. Suburbs - especially north and south - aren't ideal for access, and those locations are more challenging to generate enough TIF in the first year of development in order to start paying off stadium debt service. Wisconsin's limitation of TIF to property taxes and not sales or other taxes limits the benefit. Also, communities (understandably) are unwilling to create new taxes or "enterprise zones" which makes it difficult to make the numbers work. All those reasons make the WSFP opportunity that much more attractive - free land, no real estate tax, programming opportunities, ancillary revenue retention and a major development opportunity.
     
  10. nategi

    nategi New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Location:
    milwaukee
    what about building a stadium on the grounds where the eihlein soccer park is, there is a lot of land there and there would still be room for some youth fields.
     
  11. Peter Wilt

    Peter Wilt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Location:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    Not enough land for parking (6,000 spaces) and any nearby development associated with the stadium would not be valuable enough to spin off the necessary TIF to pay for the stadium.
     
  12. MU88

    MU88 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    How about significantly increasing the scope of the project? I know it sounds crazy, but a much bigger project might make it more viable. In Milwaukee, you probably have 3 realistic mechanisms for raising/utilizing government funds, TIF, Wisconsin Center taxing authority, and government financing at below market rates. There is one future public project that is on the minds of government officials, the new arena. We all know the Bucks want one, but no one knows how to pay for it. The arena is the one project that may get the various parties involved and cooperating.

    Okay, here is my proposal. As we all know, there is a huge parcel of open land available downtown from the Park East freeway. In addition, these is a huge potential development being planned at Pabst which just so happens to be next door to the Park East. You want a soccer stadium. What if you combine all of the projects and utilize the 3 fundraising vehicles to attract one or more additional developers. In other words, create a huge TIF (working within the geographical limitations) that encompasses Pabst and the Park East Corridor. In addition, have the state offer low interest loans (the state could offer tax-free bonds which are paid of by the debt service on the loans) and have the WC direct some of its tax income toward the project. The government incentives may be enough to generate interest a major developer to put together a project like the BOB and America West Arena in Phoenix, albeit with additional commercial development. The Bucks get a new arena, you get a soccer stadium, the city gets an enormous economic investment and a huge number of jobs. My math may be a little off, but a TIF on a $1,000,000,000 increase in property value could probably service the debt on around a $300 million loan. With a portion of the arena and stadium being paid for the WC tax, both could be built with a portion of the TIF financing and the naming rights. A small portion of the TIF could go to the benefit of the developer, along with the benefit of the low-interest loan. Crazy, I know. Getting all parties to cooperate? Unrealistic. But, is the basic premise correct?
     
  13. Peter Wilt

    Peter Wilt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Location:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    Alderman D'Amato proposed something similar. In addition to Park East, we were going to lump in the 4th and Wisconsin parcel you mentioned, the WCD land on Kilbourn Avenue between 4th and 6th and additional land along Clybourn and St. Paul. Global Equity loved it and were always pushing for "bigger is better". Unfortunately, Frank Gimbel and the Mayor's Office shot it down.

    I hope you can see through this thread that we REALLY have tried all options and are left with what i think would be a pretty good situation for fans and the team...if it succeeds (big if).
     
  14. Zak1FCK

    Zak1FCK Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    Club:
    FC Kaiserslautern
    Country:
    United States
    No, but people can read the other threads, or even the thread they are posting in, before posting for the first time. Just a suggestion.

    I am not even going to touch MU88's posts.
     
  15. MU88

    MU88 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Can you bypass the mayor and go straight to the CC? With CC support, would Gimbal change his mind? It seems to me that the public could get behind a huge project that provides two new sports venues without any additional taxes(but for the WC tax). Would an article in say, the Business Journal about the mayor's office blocking a billion + dollar development, help?

    I can appreciate that much more has gone on behind the scenes that I was unaware. That said, the public isn't aware either. Maybe you should let them know of the roadblock in the Mayor's office.

    I forgot to mention, to the guy quoting the $65 million number for UCF's stadium, that is the number for the entire project. The project included baseball and football practice fields, roads, and a number of other components. Estimated cost of the stadium only is $47 million. Also, Toledo is building a 30,000 steat stadium for approximately $55 million, inlcuding land acquisition. It can be done.
     
  16. sprintjeløy1926

    sprintjeløy1926 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    Madwaukee
    Good Lord. I go on vacation for a couple weeks and come back to a brave new world: New look BS, MLS at MKE Mile, the US playing at Lambeau and fake mammoth bones.

    Has the whole world gone mad?

    I guess I know where I'll be Aug. 11. At this point, if they need to play their games on a barge in Lake Michigan, I don't care. As long as Milwaukee gets a team.
     
  17. Zak1FCK

    Zak1FCK Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    Club:
    FC Kaiserslautern
    Country:
    United States
    That would get around the mayor and the Rocky... Peter you should look into this. :)
     
  18. DaveBrett

    DaveBrett Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1998
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Peter, I have a lot of respect for you, but this is an awful idea.

    There would only be permanent seating on one (or perhaps two) sides. The other two (or three) sides would have to be temporary "modular" bleachers, and that would look bad.
     
  19. Peter Wilt

    Peter Wilt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Location:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    Thanks.

    1). You realize that more than 15k of the MN Vikings sideline seats are movable as well as 10k of DC United's sideline seats and many other major league stadia.

    2) When the seats are filled, no one can see the seats ;-)

    3) Personally, i'd rather have movable seats a few yards from the field than "permanent" seats 15 to 20 yards from the field like the Home Depot Center.

    peter
     
  20. DaveBrett

    DaveBrett Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1998
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    The Vikings and DC United are trying very hard to get out of those facilities, and into facilities designed for their respective sports. Those teams are not good advertisements for what you are trying to do.

    Also, there is a big difference between temporary bleachers that fill in a space in front of, or next to, permanent seating (which looks OK) -- and temporary bleachers not connected to permanent seating (which looks awful.) As far as I can tell, you are trying to do the latter, not the former. Am I correct about that?

    Finally, you say "many other major league stadia" have movable seats. Can you please take a few minutes to list those for us? How many of the teams that play in those stadia are actually happy with the seating arrangement they have?

    Dave
     
  21. the rodg

    the rodg New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Chill out dave.........unless you have 300 mill you want to spend .
    there are alot of people that would give just about anything to have MLS in milwaukee
    and this guys been tryin for some time now.I for one applaud his efforts and will be a season ticket holder if it all comes together.
     
  22. chinaglia

    chinaglia Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 1999
    Location:
    Florence, SC USA
    Club:
    Motherwell FC
    Country:
    United States
    I saw some very preliminary and rough renderings today. It would be pretty cool to see a game in that set up.

    As for movable/modular seating, I think it's gonna look just fine. Thanks.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  23. Peter Wilt

    Peter Wilt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Location:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    The Arizona Cardinals brand new bazillion dollar stadium has an entire end zone full of movable seats, the Bradley Center's BEST seats for Bucks and Marquette games are movable, as are the Bulls and virtually every other NBA teams' best seats - i'm pretty certain that the Cardinals, Bucks, Bulls, Mavericks etc are all pretty happy with their movable seats....listen, is this going to be the Taj Mahal of soccer stadia? No. Is it going to be a hokey, glorified high school stadium? NO! It would be a unique stadium that allows the general fans to be right on top of the action and the fans that spend top dollar to have a first class hospitality experience. If that's not enough for you, then that's fine, too. As i've said before, this appears to be our best chance to make MLS make economic sense for both the fans and investors....and even then, i think it's a long shot.

    peter
     
  24. olderandwiser

    olderandwiser New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    Peter, you keep saying you think it's a long shot. Why do you say that?

    P.S. Brewers go up 1 1/2!
     
  25. Peter Wilt

    Peter Wilt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Location:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    Mainly because we don't have big money behind us.....yet.

    And i want to manage expectations.

    peter
     

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