It's not an arena...it's an EVENTS CENTER.
Oh, so now Orlando wants to replace TDWaterhouse Arena with an EVENTS CENTER rather than an arena.
Mayor changes message
This reminds me of a quote that former Royal Danny Jackson once made. Jackson wanted to open his business, Incred-A-Bowl , at 151st and Antioch in Overland Park. A local TV news reporter asked Danny, "What do you think of the neighbors' objections to a bowling alley going up their neighborhood?" to which Jackson curtly responded, "It's not a bowling alley...It's an ENTERTAINMENT CENTER."
Whatever, they call it in Orlando, they're still asking for approval of a tourist tax to foot the bill. The Magic asked for the same type of tax in 2001 and were pelted with rocks and garbage by taxpayers (ok, not really, but you get the idea). Opponents of the tax made bumper stickers and signs that said "NO-RENA". Calling it an Events center is smart because a NO-VENTS CENTER sign wouldn't work very well.
But Centroplex director Allen Johnson said profitable concerts are passing over Orlando in favor of newer venues in Tampa or Jacksonville. The Rolling Stones chose Tampa's St. Pete Times Forum last fall, and the Dixie Chicks will play there in October.
Sound familiar? We heard the same thing about Kemper Arena and that we were losing concerts and events to new arenas (oops, Events Centers) in Omaha, St. Louis and Des Moines. Same spin, different city.
I'm all for our arena and how it is funded. Kemper Arena was a poorly managed facility in a location that is not conducive to serendipitous businesses and revenue. I think Global Spectrum does a nice job of managing Kemper now (except for the ill-conceived notion that the UHL would work in KC). I had a great experience at Cirque Du Soleil early this year.
I simply find it interesting that the same sales campaign that worked in Kansas City is now being used in Orlando. I guess that's politics these days. It's kind of like Old Navy pushing track pants. Find a message that works and pound it into people's heads.
No mention of the Magic relocating, but you know that will come up if it looks like the "tourism tax for an Events Center" message doesn't work. The next message will be, "pass this tax or we're moving to Walt Disney's former home, KC."