Speak Up: Should the City Fund Pro Basketball Facility?

The council will open discussions on the question Tuesday. You've got a few days to let them know where you stand by voting in this poll and leaving comments.

The Golden State Warriors want to bring their minor league team to a parking lot in our city by the bay. If you missed the story, check and side.

The Santa Cruz City Council will begin talking about the proposal at its 3 p.m. meeting Tuesday.

As with all sports franchises, there is opportunity for collateral profit and expense.

The games are played after the summer tourist season and this would bring tourists back during the lull. They will find their way downtown, instead of just to the Boardwalk, because the tented portable structure would be on the fringe of it.

People would eat here, spend money here, leave behind tax revenues.

However, aside from the initial projected expense of $2.5 million, of which the city would pay half, Santa Cruz may also have to come up with extra hours for an already-strained 94-officer police department and more parking for 3,200 fans when finding a spot is already frustrating.

In a city that goes to the mat on most every issue, you can expect great debates over the topic as the months unfold. You will undoubtedly hear some argue that sports teams are private businesses and should fund themselves and others saying the money should go to the homeless.

On the other side, with a downtown shuttering up businesses and few jobs in sight, people will claim this is a good economic stimulus package, not just for sports, but concerts and events such as Cirque du Soleil.

Some cities, such as San Jose, have been happy with their franchises. The 1988 vote to build an arena for the Sharks passed by a hair, but today you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who admits to voting against it. Santa Clara just won an election to bring the 49ers to the small city, after it had earlier voted down a proposal to move the San Francisco Giants there in the 1990s.

In Sacramento, the owners of the Kings are squabbling with the city over who pays for a new arena, now that the old one is dated and doesn't have mass transit or enough luxury boxes for high-end sponsors. And remember the battles to keep the Raiders who picked up and left Oakland and then came back?

What do you think? Here's your chance to post a vote and a message to the community in the comments section.

ALSO: There is no name for the team yet. Do you have a suggestion? Add it under comments.

Willow April 07, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I have never understood why cities are expected to fund the building of sports areas. Professional sports are large revenue generators and pay their players outrageous sums. If they can afford multi-million dollar contracts for their players, why can't they afford to build their own stadium? There's no other business enterprise which expects the city to ante up the funds to build their places of business, then charge the very residents whose taxes funded the building enormous fees just to have the pleasure of being there. It has never made any sense to me. Yes, I know professional sports bring in money to the city by way of the spectators and notriety of having a professional sports team in the area. However, the question still remains: how does a city that is deep in the red already justify spending millions of dollars to build someone else's business, tax the residents for that business, and then expect the citizens to ante up more to patronize that business?
RB Love April 07, 2012 at 08:34 PM
uh, 'cuz it's awesome for everybody...
RB Love April 07, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Everybody VOTE this would be so great and we'd get to play there and see guys that didn't quite cut it and guys past their primes and drink beer and get t-shirts and...VOTE!
John Cohen April 07, 2012 at 11:11 PM
The cash strapped city of Santa Cruz, which is in annual fiscal crisis, needs to fund schools, fix streets, keep libraries open and pay for basic community needs. The taxpayers do not need another irresponsible boondoggle which is unlikely to turn a profit. The City Council should not roll the dice on this extravaganza while the taxpayers will be footing the bill.
Ed Natol April 08, 2012 at 06:56 AM
John, how are we going to do that? The city has been in a decreasing spiral for a while now. This is the first new thing that has said they want to come to SC for a while, most of the tax base is leaving. If nothing is done, the budget problems will just get worse and worse.
Scott Owen April 08, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Really, a basketball stadium for another 1 %er? Same old story, same old ending. The article site San Jose, but fails to mention Oakland. Check out that disaster before your real vote.
Steve Premo April 08, 2012 at 03:16 PM
If the facility would really be profitable, the Warriors wouldn't need a partner; they'd be happy to have a facility they could lease out for more revenue. And if it were profitable and they wanted a partner, they'd have no problem getting their rich friends to invest in it. Instead, they want our tax money. End corporate welfare!
John Hernlund April 08, 2012 at 03:58 PM
$2.5 million to buy a tent? For billionaires? No thanks! The city needs to focus its spending efforts on our kids, putting money back in schools, opening up the swimming pool again, and stop rolling back library services. The city owes $18 million already for the upgrade to the DeLaveaga Golf Course, which was also supposed to "pay for itself." Well, guess what? It didn't pay for itself, and the city is going to lose millions. Semi-pro leagues are a bust, I've seen cities try to work with them in many places I've lived around the country. They never generate nearly the same interest as the big leagues, and they serve only a very very narrow interest group...seriously, only 0.01% of the population even cares about semi-pro basketball, all 10 of them in Santa Cruz appear to be posting in the Patch article. Let me ask all those who say they are so gung-ho, if this is so great, then how many semi-pro basketball games have they attended in the past, making the effort to drive 25 minutes over the hill to see what they think is so amazingly awesome? And if you did actually go in the past, why should the rest of us have to pay $2.5 million just to save you the trip?
Michael S April 08, 2012 at 04:34 PM
This is one of the few things that Santa Cruz can do to in its recent history to change its image from a city with just aging and want-to -be hippies. It's time to stop making SC "wierd" and turn it into a viable destination for visitors (with spending money) and a hometown that we who have homes here can be proud of.
pat messer April 08, 2012 at 04:36 PM
My sons and grandsons love basketball and pay to go to Warriors games.....this would be great for our town and for our youth. It would help diversify our economy and culture....I say YES!
Brian April 08, 2012 at 10:25 PM
the city should allow us people to have a boxing ring club, so we can train and have tournaments
Michael A. Lewis April 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
This is THE most ludicrous idea the City have ever devised! This flies in the face of everything we know about economic growth, in Santa Cruz, in California, in the United States, in a finite world. This is 1980s thinking. Hint to the City Council: It's 2012!
Peking April 09, 2012 at 08:19 PM
A cash-strapped municipality should not subsidize a profit-making organization. I support the idea of bringing in what the Warriors propose, but they're just trying to squeeze as much as they can out of the public offers.
Cathy P. April 10, 2012 at 02:45 PM
This proposal is unbelieveable! With city employees taking a 10% pay cut, Santa Cruz is even thinking about putting out 2.5 million dollars ---they may never get back---in an area already overcrowded? If the Warriors want the facility, tell them to pay for it.
Brad Kava (Editor) April 10, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Michael..you've been too quiet lately. I miss your writing and comments.
Brian April 10, 2012 at 06:37 PM
basketball is a big city thing, santa cruz is a dance, alternative culture place. There are people standing by to create and finance a professional boxing facility club. at no expense to the santa cruz tax payer. the question is will the authorities allow it?
Jacob Bourne (Editor) April 10, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Basketball is NOT a big-city thing. The D-League has proven that. D-League teams are in smaller towns across the country. And Santa Cruz County is already a big basketball area. Local gyms are consistently packed for high school games.
Steve Premo April 10, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Brian, I'd love to read more about this. If people want to create a boxing club, what's stopping them?
Brian April 11, 2012 at 04:05 AM
live boxing tournaments in santa cruz, i dont know what could possibly stop that from happening in santa cruz? my friends say the city wouldnt allow it.
Brian April 11, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Brian April 11, 2012 at 04:22 AM
martial arts is big in santa cruz, but boxing is a dangerous sport (not exactly my fortay) but its dangerous , and people like it, a professional boxing club would have people punching the crap out of each other. nude bars are banned in the city because feminist groups would be up in arms about it, they boycotted pageants, wonder where boxing rings fit into this picture?
Jrey April 11, 2012 at 04:05 PM
this would give such a boost to our local economy, I hope the city goes for it!
Michael A. Lewis April 14, 2012 at 04:19 AM
I've been busy of late in final proofing of my novel, "The Environmeddlers," which will be released Earth Day, April 22. Stay tuned! It's nice to be missed!


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