Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Why Is The Fort Worth Arena Project Only Now Getting Closer To Reality?

In last year's November vote Fort Worth voters approved of the building of a new arena to replace the ancient Will  Rogers Coliseum.

Voters voted to approve of the project by passing three propositions. One proposition approved charging a buck to rent a livestock stall. Another proposition approved of a parking fee surcharge. And still another proposition approved of charging a surcharge on tickets.

Yes, I realize you reading this in democratic parts of America are wondering why three propositions of this sort would be on a ballot  and how it is that approving them approved of the building of an arena.

Well. Apparently the passage of those three propositions really had nothing to do with an arena actually being under construction. I remember wondering at the time, during that election season, why there was no mention made of the construction timeline of this arena project.

But, this is Fort Worth where the locals are used to public works projects with no project timeline. America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision, has been boondoggling along for almost two decades, with no real project timeline, yet recently touting 2023 as the year when The Boondoggle's projects are finally completed.

So, this morning the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has an article titled FW arena project getting closer to reality.

I thought that vote a year ago brought the FW arena project to reality?

I know I have asked a time or two lately if anyone has seen any sign of that arena being under construction.

Well, now we have the answer. It is not under construction. A year after being approved by voters voting yes on three goofy propositions, nothing is currently being built.

From the Star-Telegram article....

The new multipurpose arena in the Will Rogers Complex approved by Fort Worth voters last November won’t happen for a few more years, but work on the project has made some significant steps forward.

The City Council on Tuesday was presented with the proposed master agreement between the city and its private backers, Event Facilities Fort Worth Inc., for the development, construction and operation of the $450 million, 14,000-seat arena.

Completion of the master agreement should “allow construction to begin in earnest,” said a city staff memo to the council.

Initial projections pegged the arena’s opening for 2019.

Really? Initial  projections projected the arena opening in 2019? I do not remember that opening date being part of the campaign information during the election.  Five years after voters voted to approve building it? Five years is even longer than America's Biggest Boondoggle is expected to take to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

I thought we were sold on the idea that the entire funding scheme for this arena was in place at the time of the vote, a year ago.

I remember many people wondering at the time, but I am wondering anew, how in the world do you spend almost a half a billion dollars on an arena which only seats 14,000?  The new Cowboys stadium cost a bit over a billion and can hold over 100,000 event attendees. And that giant thing was built in less than four years.

I am thinking that America's Biggest Boondoggle may be getting some local competition for that coveted title.....

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