Reno Aces Amendment Goes Before City Council

by Mike Van Houten / Mar 10, 2009

3/10/09 - BASEBALL DEAL GOES BEFORE COUNCIL TOMORROW - So as I wrote in a previous post, Sk Baseball/Nevada Land are looking for a more money from their agreement with the Redevelopment Agency, in order to construct an attached entertainment zone to the stadium which would feature 3 bars, 3 restaurants, and an elevated 2nd floor open plaza. Because one of the largest mall developers in America is involved, the baseball folks don't foresee a problem filling up the 6 spaces with retail.

Currently, I think developers would retain a minimum of $500,000 a year in property tax, and a maximum of $2 million a year in taxes over 20 years, and the Reno Aces must stay in Reno at least 10 years. I don't have the numbers in front of me, I am pulling from memory so correct me if I am wrong. Developers want to change that and increase that to a minimum of $1 million a year guaranteed and up to a maximum of $2.5 million a year over 20 years from downtown redevelopment district property taxes to fund the new add-on for the stadium. It's important to note this is NOT the area where the Mizpah once stood. This entertainment-addon is connected directly to the stadium. The Mizpah lot is a future phase. In exchange for this, Developers would agree to reimburse the Reno Redevelopment Agency $6.6 million for buying the RTC Citicenter bus station and also agree not move the Reno Aces minor league baseball team for 15 years, even due to economic hardship. This is a HUGE deal, because the purchasing of the Citicenter Property by the redevelopment agency has been a sort of thorn in their side, trying to figure out where to come up with the money to actually do it (either from tax increment funds from RDA2 or the Sewer Fund). As part of the original deal, SK Baseball will receive the RTC Citicenter Property to develop retail. It was mentioned in a prior council meeting that RTC will be using the money from the sale of the current RTC Citicenter, to help fund the construction of the new 4th Street Station Transit Center just north of the stadium...something that is sorely needed. If the baseball folks agree to reimburse the redevelopment agency for this purchase, then whatever funds were used to purchase RTC Citicenter from RTC can be replaced with the reimbursement by the baseball folks.
The other big plus to this deal keeps a construction crew working on-site. If this deal is approved, SK Baseball would be able to immediately start construction on the entertainment add-on right after the stadium is finished, with no break in between. Keeping people working should be a priority in this economy.
I realize many think the baseball folks have been given too many concessions already - I have posted previous commentaries on this subject. However, if the baseball folks are willing to reimburse the city for the Citicenter purchase, and the team must stay here 15 years, that definitely softens the blow a bit.Your thoughts

Post your comments
  • March 10, 2009 - 9:57:25 AM

    I read that it will keep 245 people employed longer to do this. I say do it just for that reason. My husband would scream for me saying that, he is one of those 'government should never help private enterprise' people. I agree more with you, DTM guy, that public/private partnerships are the key.

  • March 10, 2009 - 3:54:00 PM

    I think it's a great deal, it keeps the work going and brings some much needed retail to downtown. I think it's a fair deal as well, the city should approve. Hey Mike, what's up with a "Marriott" going in next to the ballpark, like the RGJ article mentioned or is this an error? Just wondering.

  • March 11, 2009 - 1:44:56 AM

    Giving them additional money is a terrible idea. What on earth have these people done to deserve so much public subsidy? Why do they deserve it more than Harrah's, or Cal Neva, or all of the neighboring land owners, or the investors who lost everything in the non-publicly subsidized downtown projects, or the business owners downtown? They don't. Unless the City is prepared to dole out the same dough across the board, I say the answer should be "NO" to any one specific party. Let them build it with their own money or not at all.

  • March 11, 2009 - 2:07:07 AM

    Does anyone on this board really believe if the matter of giving $500K/year more to the baseball owners, in effect for nothing in return, went to a public ballot it would win? This measure would be defeated soundly. 80 - 20, minimum. That should answer your question as to whether this should pass. I venture to say this is such a "no brainer" and hot issue of disgust for most folks that anyone who votes for this will be defeated in the next election.

  • March 11, 2009 - 8:26:29 AM

    Hmmm I guess I look at it differently. I look at it as SK Baseball has forked over $50,000,000 of their own money for the stadium construction, they are willing to re-inburse the council for land the council was already obligated to give to them in the original deal, and this country is in the middle of a recession in which NO ONE is receiving financing for to me it's an opportunity to allow nearly 300 people to continue to be employed through the year, the team will stay in Reno at least another 5 years, and having restaurants and nightclubs around the stadium will obviously make it more appealling.

  • March 11, 2009 - 8:47:59 AM

    I tend to agree with DTM dude and MattO on this....sure, I am not happy about giving them more money to do this, but then think about the amount of people 3 night clubs and 3 restaurants would employ. People forget Herb Simon has his own restaurant labels which would undoubtedly go in the stadium.

  • March 11, 2009 - 9:53:18 AM

    The Reno Aces and (Company name edited out for legal reasons) are really starting out poorly in this town. Theyre offering $15/hour for video professionals to work their games. This is such a joke. The average starting wage for this type of work is $44/hour. Sounds like they dont respect the locals.