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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Didn't we build the arena for all the citizens of Corpus Christi? Apparently not!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Didn't we build the arena for all the citizens of Corpus Christi? Apparently not!

af2 team pathetic copy cats

Hmpf Toldyouso - 09:51pm Dec 13, 2006 Central

I heard a rumor that they're gonna call the new af2 team here in Corpus Christi the "sharks". Either they have NO imaginations; are pathetically copycatting off the Hammerheads; or this is a sleazy marketing idea, hoping that the uninformed with believe this team might still have an association with the Hammerheads and will buy tickets from them anyway. Either way it shows that their statement is loud and clear, they mean to steal the territory and capitalize on all the hard work that the Dittman family has done building the IFL out of thin air. Another hardworking LOCAL family business pushed aside with the overwhelming help of Mark Scott and the rest on the city council, via SMG management and the sleazy Marc Solis. SMG and Marc Solis have ousted the Hammerheads, The Shriners Circus, tradeshows and other groups who had been regular PAYING customers of the Coliseum and refused to help accomodate the Kiwanis Golden Gloves and other non-profit groups that couldn't afford his rates. He won't even give you the time of day if he knows you don't have money. It makes you wonder why we had the Center built because it certainly wasn't for the people of Corpus Christi.

When SMG has made all the money they can off of our city and the ABCenter is run down like the coliseum became they will skip off into the sunset laughing at us.

Thank god for the good sensible, customer friendly arena in Robstown. At the rate LOCALLY run events are moving over there I bet the possibility of them getting the Ice Rayz and the A&M sports programs should be pretty strong. Support the new Robstown arena and all their LOCAL events. Remember when you buy a ticket from the real Corpus Christi Hammerheads that money stays HERE in our local economy, the players and employees and the owners all live HERE. The money made here stays here! Support Golden Gloves in Robstown this February!

Shame on Mark Scott, dog poo on Marc Solis! Only national acts and entities matter to them. Money t

Hmpf Toldyouso - 09:52pm Dec 13, 2006 Central (#1 of 1) Reply

...Money that does NOT stay here. Didn't we build the arena for all the citizens of Corpus Christi? Apparently not!



DeepThroat said...

Ok, you are starting to get it now. Don't forget that the assistant City Manager who put the SMG deal together is now running the local SMG office. He was first hired as the City Finance Director, but quickly left for a hiatus in Houston after someone let him know about large sums of public money from vending machines not being reported to the City Finance Department or the IRS. He was brought back here to do the SMG deal and then left the City to run the money laundering operation, er uhm, local SMG office.

Go after the bookkeeper, he is the key to exposing the fraud that involves Mark Scott and others. The home office of SMG fears this will be exposed one day.

If you really want to take Mark Scott down, also look to his dealings in and around Packery Channel real estate title witting.

Jaime Kenedeño said...

Oscar Martinez?

WIA specialist?

Jaime Kenedeño said...

John Burns
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
John is responsible for all corporate accounting as well as the Risk Management and Management Information Systems Departments of the company. Prior to being named Senior Vice President, John served as SMG's Controller and was responsible for corporate financial reporting, including the preparation of monthly financial statements, the annual corporate budget, the annual financial statement certified by independent accountants, monthly cash forecasting reports and various tax returns, including Partnership Tax Forms. John also serves as the company's Contract Administrator for all management and subcontractor contracts.

Jaime Kenedeño said...

"IN THE KNOW": Go after the bookkeeper, he is the key to exposing the fraud that involves Mark Scott and others.: "Go after the bookkeeper, he is the key to exposing the fraud that involves Mark Scott and others. "

The Advocate said...

Google Yourself Corpus Christi: A Tale of Two Cities

Jaime Kenedeño said...

Sunday, October 29, 2000
Little Rock, Bossier City offer examples of C.C.
By Lee Goddard
Little Rock, Ark., once faced the same dilemma as Corpus Christi. The city had an old arena, the local university was a force in trying to get a new one, and the voters went to the polls to settle the issue.
That was five years ago.
The ballot issue - a one-cent sales tax imposed for one year- passed in August 1995 and four years later, Little Rock opened the doors at Alltel Arena, which seats 18,000. It served as a modern alternative to Barton Coliseum, built in 1949.
According to Bill Walker, the Vice Chancellor for Advancement at Arkansas-Little Rock, the arena has been a boon for the university.
"Our attendance probably doubled the first year," Walker said. "We hired (Little Rock native) Sidney Moncrief as coach then, so undoubtedly that played a role in it. But the facility, once people saw it, they were so excited about it that it was certainly a big part of it.
"I do know that the arena was in the black after one year, which was an amazing success as far as the university was concerned."
That's the scenario those at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi want to mimic. While the sales tax increase is different in Corpus - one-eighth of a cent for a 25-year period - Little Rock's success has drawn admirers at the Island University.
"It is, I think, a very good model to start from," said Dan Viola, the athletics director at A&M-Corpus Christi. "That's why I'm confident if this passes, this can be a very positive thing for Corpus Christi, because it has been done in other cities."
It is being done in Bossier City, La., where, according to city coordinator Pam Glorioso, the city council renewed a sales tax bond that resulted in $28 million dollars in funding, and added $32.5 million from the Riverboat Gaming Fund. The funds went toward a replacement for Shreveport's 46-year old Hirsch Coliseum.
The CenturyTel Center, which can seat up to 14,000, opened its doors Saturday afternoon for a public walk-through. On Thursday, the Western Professional Hockey League's Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs will inaugurate the center. The center's "grand opening" will come a month later when Elton John plays Bossier City, and CenturyTel's other major tenant, the af2 (arena football) Bossier Battlewings, will begin play next spring.
While no studies have been conducted in terms of economic impact, there is, according to Glorioso, an expectation of out-of-town dollars flowing into the area.
"We have events coming here that we would never have had before," Glorioso said. "Elton John would never have come here. We expect to draw from western and south Louisiana, as well as southern Arkansas. People are going to come and, hopefully, spend on gas, food, shopping and maybe spend the night in town."
Like Little Rock, Bossier City's new arena will be managed by SMG, a company that specializes in managing public facilities. Should Corpus Christi voters approve the sales tax, the city manager would negotiate a management contract with SMG, said city councilman Mark Scott.
Justin White, a vice president for business development at SMG, adds that arenas can create job opportunities.
"It's typical to have a full-time staff of 35," White said. "But there is also approximately 100 part-time jobs that will open up. These would be local people brought in."
So, as was the case at Little Rock five years ago, it's up to the voters to make the decision. Walker has some experience with these issues.
"I would say a straight-forward campaign that assured people their money was going to be well-invested," he said. "And help people to realize there is something almost magical about this type of facility. Little Rock is going through a rejuvenation right now. A lot of things are happening, but the arena has been the centerpiece of it."

Staff writer Lee Goddard can be reached at 886-3613 or by e-mail at goddardl@caller.com
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Sunday, October 22, 2000
Opponents doubt ability to fill bigger arena
Supporters say replacing aging Memorial Coliseum would create excitement, draw more people
By Jason Ma
Arena facts · Memorial Coliseum was dedicated in 1953. It seats up to 5,400. · The IceRays have three years left on their lease with the city for the use of Memorial Coliseum. · The proposed arena would cost about $35 million and take about two years to build. · The proposed arena would seat between 8,000 and 10,000. · The proposed arena would include retractable floor seating and premium box seating. · A professional management company would operate the arena, not the city. Source: City of Corpus Christi
Voters will decide Nov. 7 whether to build a multipurpose arena near the convention center and pay for it with a one-eighth cent sales tax increase. The project would cost about $35 million and the sales tax increase would be in effect for up to 25 years.
The arena could be home to IceRays hockey games, concerts, rodeos, graduation ceremonies, conventions and other large events, said John Longoria, City Councilman for District 3.
"There will be a lot of opportunities for the community there," he said. "It's not being built for an NBA or NHL team, it's for the community."
The community - or at least about 200 friends and family members of the Carroll High School class of 1998 - was locked out of the city's existing coliseum when it filled to capacity during a graduation ceremony two years ago.
But other kinds of events have failed to fill the 5,400 seat venue over the years.
Music performances, for example, regularly fall short of selling out.
For a Nov. 13, 1998 concert that featured country singer Tim McGraw, 3,576 people attended. Sammy Hagar drew 2,435 in 1997 and Willie Nelson drew 1,741 the same year. Melissa Etheridge brought in 1,721 in 1996 and Juan Gabriel drew 3,921, also in the same year.
The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi men's basketball team brought in an average of 2,200 per game last year. The capacity for basketball games is 3,500.
And while all IceRays games so far have sold out, many seats remain empty on weeknights. The coliseum seats about 3,500 for hockey games.
"I just don't know whether Corpus Christi can support an arena," said local resident Buddy Sparks, a retired Navy veteran. "It won't be profitable because there's not the population."
Sparks said Corpus Christi is too far away from other large population centers, like San Antonio, to boost arena attendance. Still, he's no fan of Memorial Coliseum either.
"It's the best we've got, but it's an eyesore," he said.
City officials are confident that a new arena will draw enough people to fill 8,000 to 10,000 seats. A new facility, city officials say, creates interest and excitement among people.
Consultants hired by the city estimate that the arena would have an annual attendance of 450,000. If the arena is approved, the city would continue to operate Memorial Coliseum, said Skip Noe, deputy city manager.
Dan Viola, the athletic director for A&M-Corpus Christi, said that a new arena would help the school's basketball teams to obtain an NCAA Division I conference affiliation.

Ralph Bennett, a committee member for political action committee pushing for the city's proposals, Forward Corpus Christi, said a new arena could attract people from surrounding counties in addition to those in Corpus Christi.
"If it's a unique design and something on the bayfront, it's going to draw people," said Bennett, a retired architect. "A town of this size deserves an arena like that."
Attendance for IceRays and Islander games is crucial to the proposed arena. Those teams' games would account for almost half the expected revenues from tickets.
According to a study, paid for by the city and done by PKF Consulting, the proposed arena is estimated to generate $3 million in revenue for 2003. Of that $3 million, about $456,000 is projected to come from ticket sales, according to the study. The remaining $2.6 million is expected to come from other sources, such as premium seating, advertising, parking, concessions, naming rights and souvenirs.
The consulting firm estimated that $300,000 could be made from naming rights on the arena. It also stated that the arena would run a surplus in operating revenue of $618,999 in 2003. That profit is expected to steadily increase to $867,070 by 2012.
But Noe said the share of the surplus that goes to the city would depend on what kind of contract the city negotiates with any arena tenants and the firm that manages the facility.
On Oct. 10, the City Council authorized the city manager to begin contract negotiations with Philadelphia-based SMG to manage the arena. But no money will be spent and nothing will be signed unless voters approve the proposal.
SMG manages 150 facilities around the country, including the Astrodome in Houston and the Superdome in New Orleans. SMG would be responsible for marketing the arena, selling tickets, cleaning, selling concessions and booking acts. But Justin White, SMG vice president of business development, said some of those duties could be contracted out.
With performers such as Ricky Martin and Elton John playing arenas similar to the one being proposed, White said Memorial Coliseum's lack of space has hampered its ability to cash in on similar events.
"Without having something, you can't get them," he said.
IceRays director of ticket sales, Pat Dunn, said there are good and bad points about the Memorial Coliseum.
He said the 3,500 seating capacity is the smallest in the Western Professional Hockey League. The size prevents the sale of lucrative corporate or luxury box seats, he said. And with more capacity, the IceRays would be able to hold more group nights.
But a shorter neutral zone on the ice means players hit each other more. And the venue's size also encourages more excitement from the crowd.
"It's right on the action," he said. "It's loud. There's a great atmosphere in that building.
"The players are pumped when they go out there."

Staff writer Michael Hines contributed to this report. Jason Ma can be reached at 886-3778 or by e-mail at maj@caller.com
Wednesday, October 11, 2000
City begins process to build arena
Nothing will happen unless voters approve $35 million project on Nov. 7
By Jason Ma

Courtesy of City of Corpus Christi
This is an artist's rendering of what the new $35 million local arena could look like. Negotiations have begun with a company that would service the facility, but only the community's OK on Nov. 7 would allow the process to continue.
The city will begin contract negotiations this week with a company to promote and manage a proposed arena that voters won't get to cast their ballots on until Nov. 7
The City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to authorize City Manager David Garcia to negotiate with SMG, a private facilities management company. Council members Arnold Gonzales and Henry Garrett were absent.
Starting negotiations before the Nov. 7 election will provide voters with more information when they decide on the arena, city officials said.
"We hope if citizens better understand what opportunities there are, then I hope they will realize how important it is that we take this step," Mayor Loyd Neal said.
Neal said that the city will not spend any money and nothing will be signed unless voters pass the arena proposal.
"All we're asking the (city's) staff to do is to call on these professionals to help inform our citizens," he said.
The arena would cost an estimated $35 million and take approximately two years to complete. A one-eighth cent sales tax increase in effect for 25 years would finance the project.
The proposed arena would seat 8,000 to 10,000 and would be located near the Bayfront Convention Center. The Memorial Coliseum has a seating capacity of 5,400.
Garcia said the city would not have to buy property to build an arena because it owns the property for the proposed site and any needed parking spaces.
Justin White, SMG's vice president of business development, said early negotiations will shave three to four months off the arena's estimated completion. He said a 10,000-seat arena could be finished in 20 to 24 months.
SMG manages 150 facilities around the country, including the Astrodome in Houston and the Superdome in New Orleans.
In the time before the election, White said he will regularly visit Corpus Christi from Houston and answer questions people in the community have.
"I can be a resource to you or anyone else who wants facts," he told the City Council.
If the arena is approved and the city signs a contract with SMG, the management company would be responsible for marketing the arena, selling tickets, cleaning, selling concessions and booking acts. But White said some of those duties could be contracted out.
City officials said the city selected SMG because its connections with events and other venues would ensure that a new arena would have high booking rates.
An arena of the kind proposed on the ballot would typically hold events about 150 days of the year, White said, and could juggle sports events and other performances within short periods of time.
Within the last month, White said, several well-known acts that SMG has booked in the past performed in venues with 10,000 or fewer seats, the expected capacity of the proposed arena.
They include Elton John, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith Hill, Stone Temple Pilots, Britney Spears, Alan Jackson, Korn and AC/DC, among others.

Staff writer Jason Ma can be reached at _886-3778 or by e-mail at maj@caller.com
Thursday, November 9, 2000
City gets to work on bond projects
Staff will give council estimates of when construction can begin
By Jason Ma

Kimiko Fieg/Caller-Times
Click image for larger version.
The City of Corpus Christi staff, fresh off Tuesday's successful bond election, got started Wednesday on refining timetables for the design, contract bidding and construction of the five projects approved by voters.
Timetables will be presented at next week's City Council meeting.
"We're going to try to move as quickly as we can," City Manager David Garcia said. "We're going to have to do a lot in a short period of time."
Seventy-three percent of voters approved general obligation bonds for street improvements. Sixty-six percent backed parks and museum projects, and 70 percent voted for public health and safety projects. The three bonds total $30.8 million.
To finance the bonds, property taxes will go up an estimated 4 cents per $100 valuation. The impact on the owner of a $67,278 home will be $26.91 annually.
Voters also approved sales tax increases to fund the construction of a new arena and repairs to the seawall. Sixty-one percent of voters supported the arena proposition, while 69 percent backed the seawall proposal. A sales tax increase for an economic development fund narrowly failed, 50 to 49 percent. The sales tax will increase from 7.88 percent to 8.13 percent, or about 25 cents more per $100 purchase.
In general, the first steps for all the projects include hiring architects, engineers and landscapers for design, Garcia said. The city then approves construction contracts, and the work can begin.
All contracts will go to private designers and construction companies, he said. And by law, contracts must go to the lowest bidder.
Construction on the arena will begin after the design process finishes, which could take 10 to 12 months. The arena is estimated to take about two years to build.
He said a proposal to award a design contract to an architect could come before the City Council by the end of the year.
The city selected SMG, a private facilities management company, in October to manage the arena for the city. Work on the seawall could begin a year from now, Garcia said, after design plans are finished and a contract awarded. The seawall is estimated to take four to five years to reconstruct.
The sales tax increases that will finance these projects go into effect on April 1. The state will start remitting revenue from the sales tax every month beginning in June. Skip Noe, deputy city manager, said the city has already received proposals from design firms for the arena. Planning for the arena will be coordinated with plans to expand the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center.
Noe said substantial analysis has been done on the seawall already.
"We are prepared to proceed expeditiously as we have promised," he said.
The city has promised to substantially complete the approved capital improvement projects within three years. Those include street improvements, public health and safety projects and parks and museum improvements.
Garcia said city staff is working on expected time frames for completing the designs and construction. He said the duration of the projects ranges from years for streets to several months for parks improvements.
The city will issue bonds as the money is needed through the course of the projects. The property tax increases don't go into effect until July next year, and tax money won't be collected until property owners are required to pay beginning in October 2001.
As a result, Garcia said the city must come up with plans for interim financing. Noe said the city engineering department has put out requests for design work on the general obligation bond projects. No firms have been selected.
As for the failed economic development fund, Garcia said the city is prohibited from putting another such proposal on the ballot for at least a year.

Jaime Kenedeño said...

May 20, 2004 - American Bank secures naming rights to downtown convention center complex
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The city’s convention center complex has a new name – American Bank Center. The host venue for conventions, meetings, dance, music, professional hockey, and Broadway touring shows, the complex is also the new home of Islanders basketball.

The City of Corpus Christi and SMG, the contract management company, unveiled the name tonight in announcing a 10-year naming-rights agreement that makes American Bank the principal corporate sponsor for the expanded and remodeled sports, entertainment and convention facility, previously known as the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center.

American Bank, which was founded in Corpus Christi in 1970, is proud to announce its new community partnership.

“This facility will become a signature for the city and will help transform the downtown bayfront into a truly world-class entertainment, sports, convention and tourist destination,” said Al Jones, President & CEO at American Bank. “We are proud that American Bank Center will be a part of the economic revitalization of downtown Corpus Christi.”

City officials made the announcement outside the American Bank Center at a mixer hosted by the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and the Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“American Bank is an ideal community partner for the new convention center, arena and auditorium complex,” said Corpus Christi Mayor Loyd Neal. “Their decision to support the complex is a show of American Bank’s sense of civic commitment to Corpus Christi.”

American Bank, the largest independently owned bank in Corpus Christi, has seven locations in Corpus Christi, one in Port Aransas, one in Rockport and one in the Westlake area of Austin. In addition, the bank will open two branches in 2004: one in Calallen and one in Lakeway, outside of Austin. American Bank is privately held. It was nominated as one of the best employers in Corpus Christi in 2003 and received recognition as the Caller Times 2004 Best of the Best award winner in the categories of banking and mortgage lending.

American Bank Center will provide a world-class venue for sports events, concerts, conventions, trade shows and graduations. Completion date is Fall 2004. The 450,000 square foot complex of three buildings is located at the corner of Shoreline Drive and Resaca Street.

The convention center and auditorium, which opened in 1981, are undergoing major expansion and renovation and a new multipurpose arena is under construction. The new arena will provide capacity for 8,000 to 10,000 seats, including retractable floor seating and premium box seating. The arena is unique for arenas of this size due to its split-tiered seating, which puts spectators closer to the action.

Groundbreaking for the expansion and new arena was on Nov. 3, 2002. The convention center expansion was funded through hotel motel tax revenue and funding for the arena was provided by a 1/8-cent sales tax approved by voters in November 2000 as part of the Bond 2000 package.

The multipurpose facility is professionally managed by SMG. Marc Solis, general manager, and SMG will be responsible for negotiating leases and booking shows and other special events. Arena suites and premium club seating are still available for purchase.