In today’sis one of those “5 Questions” with Randy Brown, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Manager.
3. Why is the stadium being demolished rather than to keep it open for other purposes?
We put together a blue-ribbon panel of city, county, university, high school people to work with us. At the same time we hired a consultant to identify potential other uses, reuse of the stadium. We found out very clearly early on that there was not a good reuse opportunity. The Coliseum does not receive any tax support. The way we operate â€¦ is through earned revenues. There was not a good way to have the stadium to be self-supporting. If we were competing with Parkview Field, you could very easily have two subperforming facilities.
Really? Â So what’s that little thing called the Food and Beverage Tax that we pay every time we eat out? Â If my memory serves me correctly, the proceeds from said tax go solely to the Coliseum. Â This tax was also supposed to only be in force only for a short time. Â I’m not up to date on the history, but I would have to believe that the Coliseum was originally built using some tax revenues. Â I’m sure a bond was floated in there somewhere, but was money from property taxes used to pay it off?
The other thing I’d like to point out is that when Memorial Stadium was created, there was no fund created, like a Capital Maintenance Fund, to set aside monies to be used for future improvements. Â One of the biggest obstacles faced with Memorial Stadium was the replacement of the playing field. Â This would have had to happen within the next year or two, but there was no money for the project. Â Also, I don’t care what you say about the facility, it was absolutely filthy. Â I’m not talking about trash, I’m talking about the grimy appearance of the stadium. Â How much of this was due to the aforementioned problem vs the ravages of time is indeterminable. Â Point is, it was enough to get Fort Wayne a team, but in the long run, probably not enough to keep it long-term.
As to that last statement, if you would have ended up with two subperforming facilities, it wouldn’t have been because you were competing with Parkview Field – there really would have been no competition. Â An event coming to town having to chose between Memorial Stadium or Parkview Field, hmmmm, who do you think would have won? Â I’m sure certain events wouldn’t be welcomed at Parkview Field – like a motorsport event, but aren’t there other venues for those types of events in Allen County?