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Old 12-11-2009, 11:36 AM   #41
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Firm hired to study Civic Center options
Submitted by From Staff Reports on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 01:38
in

* Portland Press Herald

PORTLAND ? A consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., has been hired to do an economic feasibility study that will examine renovation options for the Cumberland County Civic Center. Brailsford and Dunlavey was selected from three finalists by members of the Civic Center Joint Task Force.

The study, which will cost $50,000, is expected to start in January.

The consultant will look at the local economy and trends in the
entertainment industry, and will interview local and national experts
in sports and entertainment.

The study is viewed as the final step before developing a plan to renovate the 32-year-old arena.


editorial
"On December 11th, I noticed a peculiar ?Latest News? update on pressherald.com to which I feel compelled to respond. The particular snippet to which I am referring was entitled ?Firm hired to study Civic Center options.? The brief article explains how a Washington, D.C. company was recently tasked with examining the feasibility of renovating the Cumberland County Civic Center. Apparently, this study will cost $50,000. I have a better idea: dispense with discussions about renovations altogether and simply build a new venue out of the cash apparently overflowing from the City?s treasure chest which is currently being, and has already been, spent superfluously on never ending studies. Or better yet, for half the price, I?ll answer the questions evidently posed in the study-request myself: the economy is bad; trends in the entertainment industry are not so good, in no small part due to an outdated and cramped civic arena; and local sports ?experts? want a new facility. Furthermore, for those who missed it, similar questions have been under ?study? for the past decade. What ever happened to those results? At this pace, I might suggest that, rather than investigating novel ways to put lipstick on the pig that is the CCCC, the hired consultants look into plans for renovating whatever replaces the current structure. At least that way the ?analysis paralysis? characteristic of these approaches will have begun to chip away at the problem early enough that it might actually have some value when its recommendations become relevant."
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:50 AM   #42
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

http://video.aol.co.uk/video-detail/...ions/530492012
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:41 AM   #43
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

http://www.wgme.com/newsroom/top_sto...vid_1680.shtml
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:15 PM   #44
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Re: Portland - Civic Center


When allocating millions to improve the local economy, this isn?t where to start, say readers.


Cumberland County Civic Center
On Dec. 11, I noticed a peculiar "Latest News" update on the Web site www.pressherald.com to which I feel compelled to respond.

The particular snippet to which I am referring was titled "Firm hired to study Civic Center options."

The brief article explains how a Washington, D.C., company was recently tasked with examining the feasibility of renovating the Cumberland County Civic Center. Apparently, this study will cost $50,000.

I have a better idea: dispense with discussions about renovations altogether and simply build a new venue out of the cash apparently overflowing from the city's treasure chest, which is currently being, and has already been, spent superfluously on never-ending studies.

Or better yet, for half the price, I'll answer the questions evidently posed in the study request myself: The economy is bad; trends in the entertainment industry are not so good, in no small part due to an outdated and cramped civic arena; and local sports "experts" want a new facility.

Furthermore, for those who missed it, similar questions have been under "study" for the past decade. At this pace, I might suggest that, rather than investigating novel ways to put lipstick on the pig that is the Civic Center, the hired consultants look into plans for renovating whatever replaces the current structure.

At least that way, the "analysis paralysis" characteristic of these approaches will have begun to chip away at the problem early enough that it might actually have some value when its recommendations become relevant.

Patrick Venne

Portland


Waterfront More Important than Civic Center
The Dec. 8 issue contained information about the future use of two public resources; one, a proposal I consider unwise to expand the Cumberland County Civic Center and the other, a wise use of the Maine State Pier.

The two-page ad by the Civic Center was designed "to seek public support for a major expansion in 2012," while your reporter wrote of lobster wholesaler Ready Seafood Co.'s lease of the pier on which it will expand its business by building a 3,000-square-foot tank for live lobsters, using some pier space for trucks, loading and shipping, and other space for delivery by boat.

Hard times require serious measures. With proper planning and cooperation between those who regulate and those who fish the seas, a healthy fishing industry and its many job-related components, can be restored in this port city by putting marine-related space at a premium.

How much more sense marine-related use of our limited public waterfront makes than planting on it another downtown hotel and office building that, if needed at all, could be easily located elsewhere.

And how much more sense it makes, especially in the current economy, to invest our public funds toward the serious enterprise of maintenance of marine-based employment generating infrastructure rather than toward a frivolous expansion of the Civic Center in order to induce bigger shows and circuses to come to town.

After all, wasn't one of the selling points for investing in Amtrak the ease and opportunity of rail travel to Boston's cultural amenities that were not available here?

We don't need to compete with the entertainment capitals of the world. We need to compete as a medium-sized seaport city and to invest our resources accordingly.

R. John Wuesthoff

Portland
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:45 AM   #45
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Not sure I agree with the reader comments. A civic center is a great money maker for a city. The Verizon Wireless Arena/Civic Center in Manchester did lots to revitalize downtown Manch and its economy. If you atleast renovate the civic center, you can add more seats, attract more business to use the facility for concerts and what have you, and because you will be holding more seats, there will be more people who want to maybe walk to a restaurant downtown or something else to pump money in.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:05 AM   #46
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

I agree. I am the first commenter in the articles above; my editorial was published on 1 January. I was trying to be a bit sarcastic but, not surprisingly, I was seemingly misunderstood. I was not arguing that money should not be spent on the civic center. I was arguing that it should not be spent on studying what to do about the civic center. The reason for this is that a.) such studies have already been done, numerous times, and b.) it is clear that for the very same reasons you listed above, a new structure would tremendously benefit other areas of the city. oh well. major renovations are scheduled for 2012. thats 7 years after boulos proposed a new arena, and more than a decade after the city was offered free land and 20 million to construct a new facility in bayside.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:41 AM   #47
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Hello All,
I could not agree more with both M.Brown and Patrick's comments. If Portland can renovate the library(which I am happy about and Im sure will look great), why not the Civic Center and The Civic Center generates revenue. As M.Brown correctly points out, there is so much spinoff business to a modern downtown facility which leads to a more vibrant city in general. I too am frustrated with the the endless consultants and studies done on the Civic Center. I wonder what the price tag is to date for the analysis.

Matt
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:16 PM   #48
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

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Originally Posted by portlandneedsnewarena View Post
I agree w/ Dan in Saco completely. Why can't these fools see/agree that the only option is a new arena! Retrofitting the existing Civic Center to the tune of $30 to $45 million dollars would be absolutely foolish. it would just be a cobbled together piece of shit without luxury boxes and it sounds like no more seating. It would be a short term fix and would hardly address all of the problems of the existing Civic Center. These people should focus 100% of there attention on a new arena!!!!!!!!
I added my thoughts on the press herald site, go check it out.


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Old 02-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #49
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Here is the arena in Albany that the Pirates could possibly move to...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Union_Center

According to the AHL site, Portland has a higher average attendance than Albany (both are below the league average) but if the Pirates moved to Albany I'm sure that attendance would spike due to the affiliation with Buffalo. Albany has a nicer arena and is closer to Buffalo so those are strong arguments for relocating the Buffalo Sabres affiliate to that market.

I agree that we should be looking at a replacement for the Civic Center at this point. The Civic Center is like an old car (not an antique, like Fenway or Wrigley Field) and at some point it's going to make more sense to get a new car instead of making all the costly upgrades.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:13 PM   #50
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

^I can't see Portland losing the Pirates. A friend of mine was an assistant coach with the Providence Bruins (now with the NY Islanders) and he used to get us tickets and hotels to road games. Whenever the team was in Portland while I was at school there, I always went. I've been to PVD, Worcester, Springfield, Manchester, Portland, Scranton and Syracuse to see games and none of those fan bases were as into their AHL Hockey as Portland. I know Providence has higher attendance, but it also has a much larger arena (I think 2x the size of Portland). The fans in Providence really don't care as much about AHL as they do in Portland. They like the idea of future Bruins, but could care less about the team as a whole.

I think Portland, being so far from the base of the pro team, is in a good position actually. The fans dig it. It's a hockey town. Even if the Sabres moved their affiliate to Albany, Portland would get a team (even in the CCCC) because it's just too big of a deal in Portland.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:34 PM   #51
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Just returned home from the Civic Center after seeing an outstanding performance by The Steve Miller Band. Half house set up, probably around 3500 in attendance. Steve played for nearly two hours and did not leave out any of the hits. Encore wrapped up with "The Joker", "Jungle Love" and "Fly Like an Eagle". Was trying to imagine what it will be like someday to watch a concert in a brand new arena? Oh well, I'd settle for a expanded/renovated Civic Center at this point
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:36 PM   #52
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

NEWS FLASH! The Civic Center Board of Trustees are forming a task force to study renovation options for our 33 year old arena. The board hopes a bond referendum can be on the November ballot and renovations to the structure could begin as early as 2012. This review is moving forward regardless of any potential Westbrook plans. Please stay tuned!

Now for my two cents. I wish them success with their mission, but if they do not increase the seating capacity by at least 800 seats (knocking out the four corners) it will be a waste of time and money! This increase in seating will bring the hockey capacity up to 7,500, basketball up to 8,800 and concerts close to 9,500 depending on the configuration.

This will still put us behind the Verizon Wireless Arena in capacity but should make Portland a little more competitive in Northern New England market than it is now. Bangor is really pushing for a new arena with it's Hollywood Slots revenue, but it is expected to be only around 6,500 seats if and when it happens.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:50 PM   #53
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

What a waste of time. The whole point of having a civic arena is to draw customers in for surrounding businesses. The spinoff effects are the only way an arena is justifiable on a cost basis. Now, it is common knowledge that to be competitive with the arenas in southern new england (including the verizon, which is only 50 miles from So. N.E.) we will have to have much more loading space, more modern amenities, and more seating capacity. The boulos proposal in 2005 would have been PERFECT. This new renovation proposal is a waste of money. The trustees endorse building a new arena, but they don't have the necessary political or financial support to pursue this option. Naming rights might be an easy solution. I hope it stays in Portland, but I also hope it is torn down and built anew. Spring street is an urban wasteland and needs a major makeover. Time for a new arena. Time for a convention center. Time for a lot of new development in that area. This is frustrating.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:18 PM   #54
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Im not so sure turning the CCCC into a convention center is a wise idea. I remember reading a while back that most companies are meeting via internet these days. But maybe I am wrong. A civic center should stay in the downtown, as should everything else, in my opinion. Why turn westbrook into a theme park like the mall. build in portland. and, 8,000 seats is hardly enough to attract big names. I know more than that wouldn't be used on a regular basis, but they should be around for the few big occasions. Article in today's paper speaks about the civ center a bit. Snyder still wants to build in westbrook, for 60 mill, but the CCCC trustees don't think that's possible for that price. bickering continues.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:47 PM   #55
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

I too think it would be a terrible move to build a new civic center outside of Portland.

It seems like the civic center operators (trustees, committee members, whoever it is that calls the shots) is an indecisive bunch. How long have they been doing studies on this topic? The building obviously needs to be renovated or replaced. I hope they move forward either way sometime soon.

In regards to convention centers, I think that constructing a new arena with some sort of convention center capacity would make more sense than two completely separate complexes. There are plenty of days where there aren't sporting or concert events when the whole space could be converted to a modern convention center.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:54 AM   #56
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

There is literally a news story every week about how the civic center needs renovations and the Pirates organization negotiating their lease. Here's this week's story:

Pirates' future at civic center depends on bond

If voters OK funding for renovations, the team will agree to extend its lease.

http://www.pressherald.com/news/pira...011-08-04.html


Quote:
PORTLAND A vote in November on renovations to the Cumberland County Civic Center could determine whether the Portland Pirates stay here or leave town.


On Wednesday, the civic center's trustees recommended a bond of as much as $33 million to renovate the 34-year-old arena in downtown Portland. That recommendation needs approval from the county commissioners Monday to go on the ballot.
...
Quote:

Although Petrovek wouldn't address the possibility directly, the deal leaves the option for the team to leave if the bond fails. The Pirates considered moving to Albany, N.Y., as recently as last year.
...

Quote:
The civic center lost about $137,000 last year but has made money in six of the past eight years, according to county financial documents. Those numbers don't include about $736,000 that the county has spent on civic center capital improvements during that period.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:39 PM   #57
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

I saw an article in the Daily Sun today by our own Cneal concerning the upcoming bond question for the Civic Center. There are some good reasons for voting no.

Also, in the same day's paper is an article about an upcoming event by the Portland Society of Architects (does anyone on this forum belong to the group?) that will look at ways to improve the highway-like section of Spring Street that runs from High Street to Middle Street. Some interesting parallels between the envisioned Franklin Street makeover and the possibilities for Spring Street.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:18 PM   #58
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey View Post
I saw an article in the Daily Sun today by our own Cneal concerning the upcoming bond question for the Civic Center. There are some good reasons for voting no.

Also, in the same day's paper is an article about an upcoming event by the Portland Society of Architects (does anyone on this forum belong to the group?) that will look at ways to improve the highway-like section of Spring Street that runs from High Street to Middle Street. Some interesting parallels between the envisioned Franklin Street makeover and the possibilities for Spring Street.
Hi Corey -

Thanks for the update. I haven't yet read the article in the Sun, but for my own set of reasons I am totally opposed to this idea of renovating the civic center. A lot of people in the media have said they have been swayed by the design concept, but I think it is a waste of money to renovate that thing. It should really be demolished, replaced with more urban development, and replaced elsewhere. It is a draw to surrounding business, and the businesses surrounding it no longer need a draw--they stand on their own, as it were. Bayside, however, offers land and a need for such a structure. Imagine how great Free Street could be if it looked the same on the South as it does on the North of it.

Also, I am a member of the PSA advocacy committee, where this topic of Spring Street has been discussed for a while now. Although I am not an architect, they have been very welcoming of me, when I show up (which is infrequently), and they often discuss planning issues as well.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:53 AM   #59
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Edit - after reading the flyer of PSA, it appears I'm not actually a member after all...woops. There is a yearly registration fee....but I have been attending advocacy meetings and receiving listserv emails since the Veteran's Memorial Bridge design process began, and would encourage anyone interested to look into joining this thought provoking group, which includes some top notch architects, progressive thinkers, and at least one member of the Planning Board (who may have resigned due to conflict of interest). I may just pay the $50 to become an "official" member of the group, attend the event, and submit some of my drawings for the area, which would be really fun. If I do, I'll keep you guys in the loop.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:15 AM   #60
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Civic center drawings to be unveiled today. Hopefully they look professionally done.
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