Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stadium Update

If you haven't checked out the Wizards official blog, Hillcrest Road, you really need to, it's a great place to get different types of news on the team. Early this morning, Robb Heineman posted an update about the stadium process on the blog.

He talks about the "Save Bannister" Group, and the dreaded 60-90 days that the state has said for the TIF funding. Heineman also makes a bit of a threat towards the city of Kansas City and the state of MO, when he says "if they don't and the approval delays, we have a kansas site ready - cheaper, not as good of a location, but open by late 2009 - soccer 2010."

The good news is, that the team has always had a back up plan in case things fell through with the Bannister site. This is reassuring for a lot of people who had their doubts about it when Funkhouser stated his original disapproval and when the "Save Bannister" Group was picking up steam.

The bad news, as Heineman says, the location isn't as good. This tells me that the location is on the outskirts of the city away from the population center. If that's true, this would make the stadium atmosphere and overall attendance more like Frisco instead of like Toronto or Houston, where you're more able to draw from the entire city.

Hopefully we'll get news from the state soon that the funding has passed and construction can begin.


Reepicheep said...

I've never been a fan of the Bannister location, sorry. I'd love to see the stadium more along I-35 somewhere. But whether it's at Bannister or somewhere in KS, they have to have their own place by 2010 or it will be devastating, especially since they seem like they are staying in a holding pattern roster-wise until they get in to a stadium. It will be hard to pick up new fans with their current roster and playing venue.

A stadium deal has to happen ASAP.

Anonymous said...

where along I-35? There's no open land to put the stadium along there until you get out past Olathe. And there aren't many places that could be torn down to create room, until you get down by Olathe and the great mall.

Anonymous said...

ajf - not sure how you come to the logic of the team being in a holding pattern in regards to the roster and equate that to the new stadium. Just because they are at a temp venue and have little roster turnover this season doesn't mean squat in regards to getting a stadium. It's like you are making up something to be mad about

Anonymous said...

The only place on I-35 without having to demolish a mall (Great Mall is for sale, but Robb said the land is currently empty) would be close to Gardner, which is definitely out of the way. There is a ton of open land further south. There is also some land on K-10, but it is filling up quickly. Gardner and DeSoto were both in the running when this whole process started a couple of years ago, so my guess is the KS location is between Olathe and Gardner, since they are going to start building an interchange at Lone Elm Road just south of 151st Street sometime this year. Personally, I hope Bannister happens for the sake of the fan base. I am glad to see they have a plan B just in case.

Anonymous said...

AJF--you need to chill, dude. You are wound up WAY too tight. STOP WORRYING! At least we have a stadium deal to look forward to, regardless of whether it's in KC or MO. Some teams like DC are having major problems with the local government or their owners don't care to build one (see NE).

Reepicheep said...

Who's worried? Just making observations regarding the holding pattern that seems to be happening. No worries here. I'm not mad about anything either.

If it's Bannister, then so be it. If not, I'd like to see it toward Olathe, south of the Great Mall or even Overland Park where they originally tried to get something done. It seems they have a place in mind, we'll see.

The Lopez news is encouraging if true.

Anonymous said...

My problem with putting it out in Olathe or south of it has always been that it could turn into a Frisco Part Duex. While not completely unsuccessful, FC Dallas I think has suffered from the fact that their stadium is so far from the actual city of Dallas.

Reepicheep said...

It's hard to compare Dallas with us, it's at least twice the size of KC,maybe more. But even with that comparison, they have averaged 14K and 15K the last two years, which is way up from their earlier years. It appears to have helped them.

Hey, I'm not trying to say a central location wouldn't be better, however, pushing a real stadium out past 2010 would be a very bad development for growing a fan base in KC.