By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
Field of Schemes
Kudos to Stuart Steers for his July 16 "Cash and Carry," on how the Colorado Rockies took taxpayers to the cleaners on the Coors Field lease. I guarantee you the Broncos are hoping for the same sweetheart deal for Pat (Bowlen)'s Profit Palace. I'll also wager the Broncos hope that voters have forgotten that the supporters of Coors Field were promised a 60/40 public/private payment plan, and naming-rights monies were to go to the public: Both promises were shredded in the final lease.
All readers who believe that the written-in-stone, signed-on-Mount Sinai final version of the lease for the proposed new taxpayer-funded football stadium will really be delivered to the public before the November election should stand up. Have I got news for you! You are all proud owners of the Golden Gate Bridge. Ask the Denver Broncos for details.
I hope Stuart Steers keeps Westword readers informed of the ongoing lease talks and fully informs readers of what the details are when the alleged "final lease" comes out. I wouldn't be surprised if there is an open-ended provision for renegotiation if the voters approve the stadium.
Though I've wavered from time to time on the subject, I'm inclined to vote against a new pro football stadium for this simple reason: A single-purpose athletic facility, with fewer seats than Mile High and a high percentage of suites for the rich and famous, hosting perhaps a dozen events per year, would not have nearly the same kind of positive democratic economic effects as Coors Field, or even as much as the Pepsi Center. Who goes to Broncos games? Essentially the same 70,000 or so fans, even though millions of their neighbors and tourists will be asked to pay for their semi-private gridiron resorts. What kinds of careers does a football stadium stimulate? Peanut vending and beer hawking.
How many schools, medical facilities, daycare centers and public transportation amenities could be built with $300 million?
Losing a professional football team is not the end of the world. We'll be able to carry on with our lives, and we'll still have the Avalanche and the Rockies to satisfy our pro-sports fix. There may even be a businessman who will build a football stadium here someday without tax subsidies. If Bowlen and/or the Broncos leave because we don't build them a stadium, I say: Good luck, gentlemen. Don't let the door hit you on your butts on the way out.
Offer to Mr. Bowlen: Give us a certain percentage of equity in the team, then we'll talk.
Three cheers for Westword and Stuart Steers for the great job on the sweetheart stadium lease the Broncos are no doubt negotiating at this very moment behind closed doors with the stadium board--the same stadium board that ostensibly represents our interests.
The publicly acclaimed position of the majority of the stadium board, as expressed by Ray Baker, its chair, is that "Bowlen has us over a barrel, therefore we can get only what we can get in this deal." Yes, that is coming from the man leading the group that is representing our interests in a business negotiation for half a billion dollars!
Our stadium board has determined over numerous lunches, dinners and drinks with the Bronco lobbyists that Pat Bowlen's threats to sell the team if he loses in November are real. This in spite of earlier public proclamations by the mayor and the city attorney that the Broncos have an iron-clad lease that is valid until 2018.
Additionally, attorneys for the group I belong to, Citizens Opposed to the Stadium Tax, Inc., have come to the same conclusion. Bowlen can go nowhere without serious financial and legal consequences. And think about it: If he did manage somehow to break his written commitment to us and break his lease, where would he go? It has taken him three years to get to this point in his attempt to extort money from us. How long would it take him to do the same in another community that doesn't care one way or another about the Broncos?
COST believes that this is an unfair deal for the taxpayers for many reasons, and when we defeat Bowlen in November, he will come right back to the bargaining table with a better deal...because he has no other choice. It's not his way or the highway. It's time for the stadium boardmembers to get out of bed with Bowlen and start doing the job they were appointed to do.
Hook, Line and Stinker
I want to thank you for Tony Perez-Giese's great article "Shadow of a Trout," in the July 16 issue. Until tonight I have been a customer of Bass Pro Shops for about fifteen years. I called them and asked to be removed from the mailing list and did away with the current catalogues. I hope that this will be a method that might let them know that we don't need any more playgrounds for the very rich. They are taking over almost all of the desirable recreation land in the western U.S., and it has got to stop. The little guy still pays taxes, and the national forests are public land, not the domain of some bureaucrats who are looking for other things in the future.