Regarding Stuart Steers's "Bowlen for Dollars," in the December 20 issue:
The Denver-Boulder turnpike began as a toll road. The taxpayers were promised that when the road had been paid for, the toll would be removed. The road was so successful that it was paid for a few years earlier than projected. Then-governor John Love was pressured to continue the toll because it was such a great tax generator. But he said no, we will keep our promise to the people. The tolls ended and the toll booths were torn down. Hooray for John Love.
Which brings us to the baseball-stadium sales tax. We were promised that when Coors Field was paid for, the tax would end. The field cost more than was originally projected (surprised?). However, when the bonds are retired, the tax should end. The promise should be kept.
Which brings us to a new football stadium. The taxpayers may be asked to approve an extension of the baseball sales tax to build a stadium for the Broncos--a facility that will be used for eight home games plus two preseason games. This is the decade of reinventing government, downsizing, reduced spending and creative financing. So I would like to propose to Mr. Bowlen some alternative ways to get a new stadium: 1. Finance it through municipal bonds. What's wrong with the private sector paying for it? 2. Let a private firm, such as Disney, build it and an entertainment center around it to generate revenue. 3. Consolidate the executive offices and sports-medicine center at the stadium to reduce costs. 4. Place advertising messages on the backs of the players' jerseys to increase revenue.
Let's hope the mayor and the city council don't get sucked into supporting a tax extension. The days of wine and roses are over, sports fans.
Why must the City of Denver continue to cater to the whiny entitledness of the jocks of our fair city, especially at a time when so many valuable programs are at risk? Heaven forbid these mindless couch potatoes should have to pull themselves away from their television sets on Bronco Sunday. Pat Bowlen can take his team of losers to Tijuana and pay them the salaries that they deserve!
It's time the city planners reconsidered the future of many city facilities, such as Mile High Stadium, McNichols Arena, Currigan Hall and Stapleton. These structures still appear to be serviceable and should be converted to benefit the city and the citizens of Colorado for many years. This can be accomplished without incurring higher and/or new taxes that their replacements would require.
For example, the plan to expand the convention center to engulf Currigan Hall can be ditched if we use Stapleton to house the mega-conventions. The benefits of such a plan are many: Stapleton is easy to get to, and there are acres of parking; Stapleton has "miles of aisles" for exhibitor booths; Stapleton has existing infrastructure for food service, hospitality and human biofunctions; and Stapleton has thousands of hotel rooms nearby. Stapleton can also be used as the site of the new Broncos stadium and Pepsi Center. Again, ample parking and easy access, hotel rooms, infrastructure...plus hangars for indoor practice fields, and a great skybox!
These options appear to have been overlooked by our city planners. By astutely converting these sites, they will be useful for many more years. Recycle these city landmarks and ease ahead wisely into Denver's future by building on its great past.