Open Challenge to CMP naysayers

April 23, 2010

Find any agreement between a team owner – any professional sport at any level – in the United States where:

1. The owner gives all team profits to City or its agency (like CMPA).
2. The owner signs a 10-year lease agreement that he personally guarantees and buys a life insurance policy to cover it if he dies. The lease payments have to be made even if the team folds or moves elsewhere.
3. The owner guarantees profits of $250,000 a year for the first five years that he will give to the City or its agency.
4. The owner will give all profits from the sale of the team to the City or its agency.
5. The owner agrees to build an office building next to the stadium for nearly the cost of the stadium, pay fair market value for a land lease for the building and pay property taxes on the building.
6. The owner gives $2.25 million to the project – The donation has been made to UWF for the maritime museum, but it goes to CMPA if the museum isn’t built.
7. The owner takes no salary from the team.

If you find a better agreement with longer terms and more guarantees, I would like to see that, too.

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  • Wayne April 25, 2010 at 10:49 am

    All of this seems to come back to one common denominator. The city staff. The city staff has mislead the citizens for at least 70 years. Go back to the pension issues, the city still owes the fire pension $9 million, after almost 35 years of paying, on money taken by staff from the plan from 39-58. The original amount was $3 million. The re-opening of the general plan in 97 cost the taxpayers Millions and the employees paid little. The cox cable money. I could go on, but you should see the common problem.

  • C.J. Lewis April 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm


    The Pelicans webpage mentions a market survey it claims proves the team will be profitable in a new stadium. I think we’d all appreciate if you could ask Quint Studer for a copy and post it on your page.

    Two items above in your challenge refer to team profits. If there’s nothing to hide he’ll also be glad to provide you information on the team’s “not insignifigant” past and projected profits that you can then share with us. Then we’ll all have a better idea we’re talking about when we talk about team “profit

    The city residents are now indebted $109 million (bond principal and interest) that needs to be repaid back over 30 years. This is just for Phase 1 of the Public Improvements. Please see if you can figure out which council study proves the economic viabilility of the projected uses.

    Al Coby can give you a copy of my public records request and his lame response where he tries to deflect the blame for the SNAFU onto the shoulders of Tom Bonfield who isn’t here to defend himself.

    Mack is by herself in the right field bleachers claiming it doesn’t matter becuase a UWF study done in February 2005 for a CMPA Principal answers the mail for her. She is “immovable” on my allegations that a mistake was made.

    Please also find out if there is a “Phase 2” and how much it will cost. Scott Davison recently told a group the city-taxpayer built UWF Executive Center Space/ Conference Center is still technically part of the plan. That leaves open the possibility it’s part of a never-discussed Phase 2.

    Also, the Master Lease Agreement seems to describe a lot of costs to the Lessor (City) over the duration of the 60 year lease. Every council member with whom I’ve spoken denies there are any costs beyond this one and only bond. Hall even assures me it’s a “turn key” operation and will cost the city not a dollar more.

    Looking forward to seeing some crackerjack investigative reporting from IN Weekly. I realize this puts the burden back on you vice your readers but that’s why you get paid the big bucks to be a fearless seeker of the truth, however inconvenient.

    By the way, when you write that Quint Studer’s Studer Group has “agreed” to build an office building I assume you think he’s contractually bound to do so. He’s not. He just has the right of first refusal. If he takes a pass he is then obligated to lease 20,000 square feet in an office building built by someone else.

    • Rick Outzen April 24, 2010 at 4:34 pm

      You are mixing several different entities and persons – CMPA, Studer Group and Davison.
      Studer has done what he committed himself and the Studer Group to do for the park. I think he is the only large contributor to the Maritime Museum that has completely paid his pledge to UWF. As far as the office building, Studer has already begun the design process and is waiting for the site to prepared. As condition of the bonds, Studer had to commit to building a $12-million office building at the CMP that will be the Studer Group’s executive offices. Studer Group’s building is in the approved site plans.

      The finance plan in place for the park was drafted by City staff and approved by the council in October 2009. A petition drive to rescind it failed. The plan is what it is…we can debate it, but it is in place and the bonds have been sold. As far as the marketing plan, the City Council has never demanded or made it requirement for any of its approvals of the project. And the City Council is the decision-maker on whether such a study is still needed.

      The City Council and CMPA have to approve the construction budget and phases submitted by Maritime Park Development Partners.

      As far as the park goes, we will keep our focus on the master developer completing the task as approved by the CMPA and City Council, how the funds are spent and the implementation of the Contractors Academy and the Covenant with the Community.

  • chris April 24, 2010 at 8:36 am


    I cant wait for the park to be built either! What will you do with all the time you will have on your hands when you dont have to defend the park? Maybe enjoy a cold one at a Pelicans game downtown? Any shot at getting a real minor league team after the pelicans lease runs out????

    • Rick Outzen April 24, 2010 at 8:57 am

      The Pelicans can become affiliated, if that is really important. I’m not sure it makes the team more profitable for the CMPA.

  • C. C. Elebash April 24, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Here are the facts:

    1) Mr. Studer will pay a total of $3.0 million over ten years to use the ballpark.
    2) The City will pay over $10 million in the same ten years to pay off ballpark bonds. And the City will still owe about $20 million more.

    This illustrates why: “Virtually every independent economic study, including one by the Florida Senate in 2005, has shown that publicly funded sports stadiums are a rotten deal for taxpayers.” Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald, syndicated column in Pensacola News-Journal, January 12, 2010.

    C. C. Elebash, Truthsayer

    • Rick Outzen April 24, 2010 at 8:54 am

      The Hiaasen column is about NFL stadiums. In fact, its title was “Raindrops keep falling on NFL dunderheads.” Come on, “Truthsayer,” do the real analysis and find a study on minor league baseball parks built in the last ten years. Do an equitable comparison.

      Over ten years, Studer will pay more than $3,000,000 for the use of the stadium, but, of course, you ignore that all team profits go to the CMPA. You also overlook that the stadium lease was never intended to pay the bonds. The bonds are paid by the CRA revenues.

      With that being the case, you also don’t give Studer credit for the property and tangible taxes paid on $12 million office building and all its contents – which will be about $250,000 a year – $2,500,000 for ten years—-so personally Studer’s property taxes are paying 25% of the debt service for the first ten years, over 50% if you include his $3,000,000, if the Pelicans have $100,000 annual net profit for years 6-10, then 60 percent.

      C.C., you also forgot to include the lease for the land upon which the office building will be built. It’s at fair market value and hasn’t been set yet – but that could be another $1,000,000 over the first ten years- which would mean Studer is paying as much as 70% of the debt service.

      In that ten-year period, the CRA/CMP will have more development than just the Studer building….remember the Main Street Treatment plant will be demolished by this time next year. More CMPA land will be leased, too.

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