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Old 10-21-2006, 10:31 AM   #1
Patrick
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Portland - Civic Center

Architect has plan for civic center

The architect who oversaw renovations at Fenway Park has given a once-over to another aging sports and entertainment venue: the Cumberland County Civic Center.
In preliminary designs presented to civic center trustees this week, Janet Marie Smith proposed more space for concert crowds and hockey fans by reducing the maintenance area and adding new concourses and standing-room viewing areas.
The plans, commissioned by the Portland Pirates, do not add traditional seats or address whether the 28-year-old building's structure is sound enough to undergo the renovations -- that is work that would have to be done at a later time, in greater depth and at a price, say people close to the project.
It's not clear, though, how much farther Smith's work will go.
For several years, civic center officials have considered improving the center or building a new one, and say they welcomed the input of a nationally acclaimed architect credited with building the first retro ballpark, Camden Yards in Baltimore. But the potential cost of Smith's proposed renovations made them question whether they were worth it.
Smith, in her hourlong presentation to civic center trustees Wednesday, did not have a firm estimate, but acknowledged that it would cost $35 million to $40 million --about half the amount it would take to build a new facility, said Dale Olmstead, chair of the board of trustees and town manager of Freeport.
A cost assessment and structural engineering tests would require up to $100,000, Olmstead said. It's money he would rather see invested in a new facility that would accommodate more than the 6,800-seat civic center and have extra space for dressing rooms and set-up demanded by big-name acts.
Neal Pratt, an attorney and chairman of the trustees' long-range planning committee, invited Smith to meet with the trustees. But he said afterward that more in-depth renovation proposals have already been floated and turned down, with the mindset that building a new building would be more cost-effective.
"We've spent a lot of money already evaluating this, and we have very good information from very qualified people that was the basis of our decision to pursue a new facility," Pratt said. "I don't know if we want to take the chance on whether (Smith) might come up with something different."
Brian Petrovek, managing owner and chief executive officer of the Portland Pirates, said he would like to see Smith pursue more detailed designs. Petrovek acknowledged that the Pirates do not have the same concerns about seating capacity as the trustees. But he said Smith's ideas address everybody's concerns about maximizing floor space and improving people flow.
Petrovek said his ideal situation is for the hockey team, and possibly an arena football team that he is trying to bring to Portland, to stay on the peninsula. He said the location adds to the "fan experience."
Smith, who is vice president of planning and development at Baltimore-based Streuver Bros. Eccles & Rouse, did not return phone calls Friday.
While Olmstead said the trustees do not have the money to hire Smith, he said: "It'll be interesting to see if the city of Portland will be willing to step up to the plate and take her work to the next level."
Smith's designs are expected to be discussed Monday at a meeting of the Portland City Council, the Cumberland County Commission and the civic center's trustees.
Mayor James Cohen, who has been a vocal supporter of renovations at the center, said he was impressed by Smith when they toured the building earlier this year. He said it would be a good idea for the city and county to consider retaining her services, or look into the design issues she has raised.
"I think it would be wise for the city to look carefully at the issues," Cohen said. "The city was actively involved in the civic center when it was first constructed and it remains an important component of the Portland landscape."
Staff Writer Josie Huang can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:
jhuang@pressherald.com


Reader comments

patrick venne of portland, me
Oct 21, 2006 11:33 AM
For almost any other city of Portland's size, a 6,800 seat arena would usually be able to "do the job" quite well. A little improvement here, some touch up there....and a hypothetical town/city of between 62,000 and 78,000 (Portland's range of in-city population between 1950 and the 21st century) would be "in business" so to speak. However, we all know Portland is not the typical town of 70,000 people. It is much more. Serving as the population and commerce core to the entire southern portion of the state, which continues to grow by thousands each year, it is a metropolis which swells to over 100,000 people each business day, and which has an extensive "draw" into other surrounding municipalities. My point is this: The CCCC, though located in Portland, serves (as the name would suggest) the entire county, and beyond. It is, therefore, the only arena of the sort for over half a million people in the state of Maine. In other words, NO, 6,800 seats will not do. And neither will rennovations. Located diagonally across from the CC is an essentially cacant lot or two on which a 10,000 seat complex could be built, for the benefit of all southern Maine, and which would still allow for the CC to remain in the state's largest and most prominent city. The solution to the CCCC's woes is simple. Construct a new one and sit back and watch as the economic "spin-off" effects roll in to the local economy. That is, after all, why civic centers are built in the first place. Wasting time debating rennovations only worsens the situation. Come on, Portland and CUmberland county, git 'er done!
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Old 10-21-2006, 01:38 PM   #2
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Well put, sir.

It's ridiculous to even consider renovating a 28 year old building when you can build a brand new one, that will be much bigger and better, for only twice as much!
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:31 AM   #3
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Who would pay for the civic center? the city? state?

And why did the Lincoln Center fall through? Wasn't that a civic center leveraged with a private office tower or something? That sounds good to me. If the city can attach private development to a new civic center it would reduce their risk a bit.
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:55 AM   #4
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the civic center would be financed through public means by the entirety of cumberland county. the latest proposal called for a `% increase in sales and lodging taxes to pay for lincoln center, but it was not allowed to go up for a peoples vote because the governor was facing political opposition from republicans who hate increasing taxes. lincoln center was to be combined with a privately owned office tower and hotel. it really is a shame because it would have given us a new tallest building (might have even surpassed that church everyone gets so up in arms about).
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Smuttynose
Who would pay for the civic center? the city? state?

And why did the Lincoln Center fall through? Wasn't that a civic center leveraged with a private office tower or something? That sounds good to me. If the city can attach private development to a new civic center it would reduce their risk a bit.
Consensus still eluding parties on civic center

For the first time ever, the trustees of the Cumberland County Civic Center, members of the Portland City Council and Cumberland County commissioners met on Monday evening to discuss the future of the 28-year-old arena.
The outcome was less historic, as the parties basically agreed that they will need to reach a consensus before anything can be done about the 6,800-seat arena, which either needs minor repairs or replacement, depending on who's talking.
The center's trustees are on record as favoring a new arena with more seating, betteramenities, improved backstage spaces for artists and easier setup for equipment.
City officials said a review of the center by the architect who designed changes for Fenway Park in Boston offers new hope for those who think that a less-costly renovation would solve the arena's problems. And some elected officials say that cutting property taxes needs to take priority over putting any more money into the civic center.
It's an issue that has been percolating for nearly a decade, and Monday's meeting suggested that finding a solution will take time.
The meeting was pushed by Portland Mayor James Cohen, who toured the center earlier this year with Janet Marie Smith, the architect who came up with renovations for Fenway and helped design Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Cohen said Smith didn't do a complete study of the building but she saw several ways to add concession space, restrooms and a bar, and provide more standing room for concerts.
A more complete analysis, including a structural assessment that would determine what changes can be made, would cost about $100,000, civic center trustees said, and only provide concepts for renovating the building.
Dale Olmstead, chairman of the trustees, said the center needs a minimum of $5 million "to basically keep the doors open." He said a renovation that would provide more seating would cost as much as $20 million, though Smith has pegged the cost for her approach at about twice that amount.
A new arena would cost as much as $50 million, Olmstead said, adding that his estimates are a couple of years old and "pre-Katrina," meaning they don't factor in the huge increase in the cost of building materials due to the rebuilding being done on the Gulf Coast.
The trustees have already endorsed building a new civic center, but two previous attempts by other groups to put up a new arena have stalled because of the price.
John Menario said he and fellow trustees have looked at the problems the civic center faces despite "a bias of wanting to renovate the building."
"All we're going to do is buy five to seven years," he said, because top acts want to be able to sell more tickets and demand better amenities than a renovation would provide.
But Cohen said the civic center is in an enviable location near the Old Port and downtown Portland. He said other cities have built arenas near highway exits and found that people go to events and leave without visiting restaurants and bars.
Part of the economic benefit of an arena, he said, is the spin-off spending generated by those who attend the events.
Cohen said Fenway presented many of the same issues that the civic center faces. While Smith had orders not to change the park's basic configuration, he said, she found a way for more seats and an improved fan experience.
Most at the meeting agreed that whatever is decided, the cost can't be borne by increasing property taxes on county residents. But, they noted, not even state lawmakers from Cumberland County can agree on other options, such as a local add-on to the meals and lodging tax -- which was rejected by Gov. John Baldacci and the Legislature last year.
Cohen said he will keep pushing for the group to find an option that everyone can live with. "The doing-nothing option ultimately is going to condemn this facility to obsolescence," he said.
Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:
emurphy@pressherald.com


Reader comments

Jill of Portland, ME
Oct 24, 2006 11:00 AM
Whoever is going to pay for it, there is no question that Portland needs a new arena. Build it across Free Street on the Brian Boru/parking lot area. Build it where Lincoln Center was proposed. Just build it.

Dan of B ar Harbor, me
Oct 24, 2006 8:50 AM
Well, actually it IS the taxpayer's money, those of Cumberland County. Maybe it's time to explore just how much a private company would be willing to put up to have their name on the arena. I, for one, think the time has come. Get Portland and Cumberland County out of the arena business. We saw what happened to the Public Market.

Dan of Saco, ME
Oct 24, 2006 8:10 AM
Well it's easy to say build a new one cause it isn't my money. However after attending a few event at the new arena in Manchester it is clear to me that Portland has fallen way behind their friendly N.H. rival. What a difference in the overall experience when comparing the two venues. I suggest taking a look at the events that were held when the civic center was new and modern for its time as compared to now. I was amazed at the frequency of concerts and other shows back in the early years. Better acts want no part of this facility and Portland needs to decide if they are first class or something less when it comes to entertainment for the community.
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:29 AM   #6
portlandneedsnewarena
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smuttynose
Who would pay for the civic center? the city? state?

And why did the Lincoln Center fall through? Wasn't that a civic center leveraged with a private office tower or something? That sounds good to me. If the city can attach private development to a new civic center it would reduce their risk a bit.
Consensus still eluding parties on civic center

For the first time ever, the trustees of the Cumberland County Civic Center, members of the Portland City Council and Cumberland County commissioners met on Monday evening to discuss the future of the 28-year-old arena.
The outcome was less historic, as the parties basically agreed that they will need to reach a consensus before anything can be done about the 6,800-seat arena, which either needs minor repairs or replacement, depending on who's talking.
The center's trustees are on record as favoring a new arena with more seating, betteramenities, improved backstage spaces for artists and easier setup for equipment.
City officials said a review of the center by the architect who designed changes for Fenway Park in Boston offers new hope for those who think that a less-costly renovation would solve the arena's problems. And some elected officials say that cutting property taxes needs to take priority over putting any more money into the civic center.
It's an issue that has been percolating for nearly a decade, and Monday's meeting suggested that finding a solution will take time.
The meeting was pushed by Portland Mayor James Cohen, who toured the center earlier this year with Janet Marie Smith, the architect who came up with renovations for Fenway and helped design Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Cohen said Smith didn't do a complete study of the building but she saw several ways to add concession space, restrooms and a bar, and provide more standing room for concerts.
A more complete analysis, including a structural assessment that would determine what changes can be made, would cost about $100,000, civic center trustees said, and only provide concepts for renovating the building.
Dale Olmstead, chairman of the trustees, said the center needs a minimum of $5 million "to basically keep the doors open." He said a renovation that would provide more seating would cost as much as $20 million, though Smith has pegged the cost for her approach at about twice that amount.
A new arena would cost as much as $50 million, Olmstead said, adding that his estimates are a couple of years old and "pre-Katrina," meaning they don't factor in the huge increase in the cost of building materials due to the rebuilding being done on the Gulf Coast.
The trustees have already endorsed building a new civic center, but two previous attempts by other groups to put up a new arena have stalled because of the price.
John Menario said he and fellow trustees have looked at the problems the civic center faces despite "a bias of wanting to renovate the building."
"All we're going to do is buy five to seven years," he said, because top acts want to be able to sell more tickets and demand better amenities than a renovation would provide.
But Cohen said the civic center is in an enviable location near the Old Port and downtown Portland. He said other cities have built arenas near highway exits and found that people go to events and leave without visiting restaurants and bars.
Part of the economic benefit of an arena, he said, is the spin-off spending generated by those who attend the events.
Cohen said Fenway presented many of the same issues that the civic center faces. While Smith had orders not to change the park's basic configuration, he said, she found a way for more seats and an improved fan experience.
Most at the meeting agreed that whatever is decided, the cost can't be borne by increasing property taxes on county residents. But, they noted, not even state lawmakers from Cumberland County can agree on other options, such as a local add-on to the meals and lodging tax -- which was rejected by Gov. John Baldacci and the Legislature last year.
Cohen said he will keep pushing for the group to find an option that everyone can live with. "The doing-nothing option ultimately is going to condemn this facility to obsolescence," he said.
Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:
emurphy@pressherald.com


Reader comments

Jill of Portland, ME
Oct 24, 2006 11:00 AM
Whoever is going to pay for it, there is no question that Portland needs a new arena. Build it across Free Street on the Brian Boru/parking lot area. Build it where Lincoln Center was proposed. Just build it.

Dan of B ar Harbor, me
Oct 24, 2006 8:50 AM
Well, actually it IS the taxpayer's money, those of Cumberland County. Maybe it's time to explore just how much a private company would be willing to put up to have their name on the arena. I, for one, think the time has come. Get Portland and Cumberland County out of the arena business. We saw what happened to the Public Market.

Dan of Saco, ME
Oct 24, 2006 8:10 AM
Well it's easy to say build a new one cause it isn't my money. However after attending a few event at the new arena in Manchester it is clear to me that Portland has fallen way behind their friendly N.H. rival. What a difference in the overall experience when comparing the two venues. I suggest taking a look at the events that were held when the civic center was new and modern for its time as compared to now. I was amazed at the frequency of concerts and other shows back in the early years. Better acts want no part of this facility and Portland needs to decide if they are first class or something less when it comes to entertainment for the community.
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!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:55 AM   #7
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I added my thoughts on the press herald site, go check it out.
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:26 PM   #8
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Portland should just look at the Manchester model. Portland and Manchester are very similar sized markets, Portland might be a bit smaller but all the tourists make up for it. Both Portland and Manch are hockey towns. Both are in the same general location, though Portland is further away from Boston, which discourages people from going down there for shows. I'm sure the demographics are similar too, i.e. lots of fairly wealthy people around to support it.

A TV Station in Youngstown, Ohio has spent the week in Manchester reporting on how the city has improved (hoping Youngstown, which is having big problems can follow the same path).

Part 4 of their series focuses on the success of the Verizon.

Manchester, NH, Part 4
http://www.wytv.com/news/government/4202591.html

Quote:
According to industry sources, the Verizon Wireless Arena is one of the 10 busiest arenas of its size in the world.

And more good news for the city.
The 15 year bonds it took out to build the Verizon Arena will be paid off 7 years early.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:31 PM   #9
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Manchesters biggest succes has been the verizon and the airport. for thsoe two i will always envy manchester, but only of the arena will i be jealous (because there is no way being this far away from beantown our airport could grow like that in the local market).

sadly, no, portland does not have a lot of rich folks surrounding it. im sure there are way more around manchester (which is odd, given that it began as a mill town). We have cape E. and Falmouth which total about 20,000 people combined. the rest is all working class, for the most part. no mass commuters like in NH, and no other sizeable city either. so nobody wants their taxes to increase. because they cant make enough money in the first place to pay for such an nicrease. things in maine and NH are comparable but also can be different in some respects.

thats impressive about the arena being so busy.

also, for portland, we wouldnt have to rely on people comming up from massachusetts, because unlike NH most of our population lies above the city.

in manchester, there are about almost one million people in the southern part of the state and then mass south of the border. in maine, though, it is different. we have our 600,000 southern part of the state and then we have no significant arena north of us for the other 700,000 people in the state. that would be our market to tap into..
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:38 PM   #10
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I added my thoughts on the press herald site, go check it out.
this has to be you. you didnt tell us you were in the Fast and the Furious, Dom.

Dominic of Portland, Me
Oct 24, 2006 12:05 PM
For the amount of money they have spent "researching" what to do with the civic center, we probably could have paid for two news ones by now. I know, let's hold a workshop meeting. I know, let's send it back to the planning board. I know, let's have the woman who redesigned Fenway Park look at it, because the history of the two buildings are the same. Got ZZ Top and the Portland Sting Rays on this side, they had Babe Ruth and Fisk's homerun. Sounds equally historic to me.

Okay, so we turned down free land and 20 million towards a new arena in Bayside, because we didn't want to ruin Bayside. I guess we didn't design enough shopping cart parking in the plans for that arena. We then give the cold shoulder to Mr. Boulos who brought us the greatest project ever seen in our city. A project that would have covered our arena and convention center needs along with the best looking office tower/hotel we have ever had. Basically would have made Portland one of the premier small cities in the country.

So now where do we go? Honestly, I give up. I give up hope for anything that benefits working people and families in our city. I'll sit back and read other posts here today that will talk about how we don't need to be like Boston, move to Boston if you want this, I don't wanna pay for this, windtunnels caused by a new arena will blow old people down the street, traffic will be backed up for 8 hours after a concert, money should be used on a state of the art methadone clinic for out of staters wanting to live in Portland....etc.

This is a city that refuses to grow and to grow up. A city that doesn't understand that you can't just stand still and expect to be successful forever. I'm sure Manchester prays we keep thinking that way. They're laughing all the way to the bank.

__________________________________________________ __________
absolutely brilliant response.
__________________________________________________ __________

oh and P.S. was at gritty's last night and embarrasse the socks off of myself when i tried to order a heineken. i knew they brewed their own, but for some reason i figured they might still serve other stuff too. beer tasting festival at the expo center November 4. you want a ride? haha just kidding ill be in san diego, fortunately and unfortunately.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:54 PM   #11
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Manchesters biggest succes has been the verizon and the airport. for thsoe two i will always envy manchester, but only of the arena will i be jealous (because there is no way being this far away from beantown our airport could grow like that in the local market).

sadly, no, portland does not have a lot of rich folks surrounding it. im sure there are way more around manchester (which is odd, given that it began as a mill town). We have cape E. and Falmouth which total about 20,000 people combined. the rest is all working class, for the most part. no mass commuters like in NH, and no other sizeable city either. so nobody wants their taxes to increase. because they cant make enough money in the first place to pay for such an nicrease. things in maine and NH are comparable but also can be different in some respects.

thats impressive about the arena being so busy.

also, for portland, we wouldnt have to rely on people comming up from massachusetts, because unlike NH most of our population lies above the city.

in manchester, there are about almost one million people in the southern part of the state and then mass south of the border. in maine, though, it is different. we have our 600,000 southern part of the state and then we have no significant arena north of us for the other 700,000 people in the state. that would be our market to tap into..
Well if Portland built an arena, it would make the NH Seacoast competitive, and there's def some money there. And Southern Maine does have some money - Keenebunk, York, Ogunquit, etc. - maybe they have a large seasonal pop., but still. I think Portland has a lot more in common with Portland than say Youngstown.

Plus, I remember people talking about a Manchester civic center when I was in 8th grade, and it didn't get built until I was a senior in high school, so it was a long pain-in-the-ass process here as well.
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:27 PM   #12
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true, kennebunk has some wealth, but 1. it is a small town...2. its mostly old people......3. its only 1 1/2 hours from boston.

ogunquit = small.

those towns you listed were in york county, which i think is split between metro portland and metro boston. people from down there may be wealthy, but they are not large in numbers.....and they are practically in the middle of portland and boston. they are little farther away from boston than portland, but the larger venues in boston (and manchester) would make their trips in the oppositte direction worth while. whereas people north of us have nowhere to go but south (and by implication that means going through portland).

I like your idea with portsmouth though, cause thats an area that has substantially more population than our spread out southern county, and a lot more young people i bet too, and those people seem like they would like portland as a city (as opposed to boston) because of its similarity (old port basically = market street). but even then they might jst wanna go to boston too. i would bank on the northerners from lewiston auburn down...thats an additional couple hundred thous.....but who knows./ now if we built a really large arena, say 15,000 seater, then we would be talkin...but until then i dont see the incentive for southerners to drive north when boston and manch are close by.


also, you think manch had a struggle huh? they have been talking about building a new arena in portland since I was in 7th grade!!!!! that was 1996 my friend, and not one shovel has yet hit the ground. aaah!! it is mind boggling how long this is taking.

what did manch use before the verizon, if anything?
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:04 PM   #13
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^ Well I guess my basic question to you boils down to this: Do you think Portland can support an arena like Manchester has?

Cause if the answer is yes, then there's no question you should build one. The CC has done so much for Manchester.


Quote:
what did manch use before the verizon, if anything?
A little place called the Fleet Center in BOSTON! And people still bitched about building it. I hate people.
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:31 PM   #14
portlandneedsnewarena
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Originally Posted by Smuttynose
^ Well I guess my basic question to you boils down to this: Do you think Portland can support an arena like Manchester has?

Cause if the answer is yes, then there's no question you should build one. The CC has done so much for Manchester.


Quote:
what did manch use before the verizon, if anything?
A little place called the Fleet Center in BOSTON! And people still bitched about building it. I hate people.
Portland could easily support a 10,000 seat arena. I doubt the Pirates would fill that many seats very often, but top act concerts, UMaine Hockey, NCAA Hockey Regionals, Celtics exhibition, etc. would sell out.
My hope is that Joe Boulos resurrects the Lincoln Center project, gets investors/private financing and renames it The Boulos Center. Private financing is about the only way I see anything getting done in the near future. He should threaten to build it in Scarborough off of Haigas Parkway. That might get the City leaders in Portland moving on the project instead of constantly backpedaling/spinning there wheels.
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Smuttynose
^ Well I guess my basic question to you boils down to this: Do you think Portland can support an arena like Manchester has?

Cause if the answer is yes, then there's no question you should build one. The CC has done so much for Manchester.
You know I'm not sure how well we would be able to support an arena that size, but my guess is that it probably wouldn't be that hard. I think that since the population in southern maine is so similar to that in southern NH (650,000 versus what, 800,000?) it would probably become a case of "if you build it, they will come." They will just have to drive farther to get here, since in NH everything is more compacted and dense as opposed to our wider geography. But the bottom line is, regardless of population density, roughly the same amount of people filter into and depend on portland as do for manchester, and with the tourist season, any differences should be made up for throughout at least the spring and summer.

Who knows, manchester might be able to support a 15,000 seater and portland only a 10,000 seater but the bottom line is that we need something large. it doesnt have to be the colluseum, we just need a state of the art entertainment complex that can keep up with you guys, so as to help our local economy through the rough winter months when the old port life dies down a bit. and thats the real reason we should get the ball rolling on this one, cause if the old port were ever to slip back into what it used to be we would become the crime capital of new england with fisherman shanghai-ing drunkards everynight for work on the high seas. haha,

and yeah, PNNA, I hope boulos resurects those plans as well. lets hope there is a change in state gov't. im predicting there will be. woodcock was the coach of state champ girls bball team from mt blue maybe he can lead portland to being a regional champ by approving some development.
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Old 10-25-2006, 07:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Patrick
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smuttynose
^ Well I guess my basic question to you boils down to this: Do you think Portland can support an arena like Manchester has?

Cause if the answer is yes, then there's no question you should build one. The CC has done so much for Manchester.
You know I'm not sure how well we would be able to support an arena that size, but my guess is that it probably wouldn't be that hard. I think that since the population in southern maine is so similar to that in southern NH (650,000 versus what, 800,000?) it would probably become a case of "if you build it, they will come." They will just have to drive farther to get here, since in NH everything is more compacted and dense as opposed to our wider geography. But the bottom line is, regardless of population density, roughly the same amount of people filter into and depend on portland as do for manchester, and with the tourist season, any differences should be made up for throughout at least the spring and summer.

Who knows, manchester might be able to support a 15,000 seater and portland only a 10,000 seater but the bottom line is that we need something large. it doesnt have to be the colluseum, we just need a state of the art entertainment complex that can keep up with you guys, so as to help our local economy through the rough winter months when the old port life dies down a bit. and thats the real reason we should get the ball rolling on this one, cause if the old port were ever to slip back into what it used to be we would become the crime capital of new england with fisherman shanghai-ing drunkards everynight for work on the high seas. haha,

and yeah, PNNA, I hope boulos resurects those plans as well. lets hope there is a change in state gov't. im predicting there will be. woodcock was the coach of state champ girls bball team from mt blue maybe he can lead portland to being a regional champ by approving some development.
Patrick, unfortunately Baldacci will crush the competition this coming November. Most people don't see through Baldacci, that he is nothing more than a professional politician who gets his face in front of the camera/media as often as possible (the past 6 months) to appear like he is actually doing something. I just don't see him taking much of a stand on anything that might be difficult, examples; Lincoln Center meals/lodging tax issue, Cabelas sales tax issue, etc., etc. Baldacci came out and stated to the media 4 months before Lincoln Center was even proposed the need for Maine to have Convention facilities in Portland, Bangor & possibly L/A. He stated that Maine is losing $$$ to other states that have such facilities. Then when the going gets a little tough approx. 1 year later when a first class project with a first class developer has a magnificent project such as Lincoln Center ready to go he bails out and doesn't support a tax. He is clueless what economic development is all about. He's just a polished prof. politician and that's it.
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Old 10-26-2006, 04:17 PM   #17
Patrick
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Civic center talks fail to produce

By Kate Bucklin (published: October 26, 2006)
PORTLAND ? Mayor Jim Cohen thinks a little ?thinking outside the box? may allow the Cumberland County Civic Center, with its downtown location and recent praise from the architect who redesigned Fenway Park, to stay right where it is.

Other officials aren?t as optimistic.

The future of the civic center was discussed Monday afternoon at a meeting attended by civic center trustees, Cumberland County commissioners and Portland city councilors. It was the first time the three groups had met together, but the topic of conversation was one that has been in the spotlight several times during the past six years.

Although civic center officials hold the opinion that the best option for the 28-year-old arena is to build a new one somewhere else, architect Janet Marie Smith?s recent preliminary study of the building found it would be possible to renovate the civic center instead of rebuilding.

Past studies have questioned the structural integrity of the 6,800-seat building.

Smith designed the plans for renovation of Fenway Park and also designed Camden Yards in Baltimore. Cohen said when he toured the civic center with Smith in April he was encouraged by her ideas to solve major problems in the building, including inadequate seating, a shortage of set-up space for acts and an inadequate ?fan experience.?

The architect suggested the glass corners of the building could be built out to the abutting parking garage, and the ticket counter could be moved so the Spring Street concourse could be used by fans. In the additional space, a restaurant and bar and standing room for show-goers could be added, Cohen said.

Cohen also said that in the case of Fenway, offices and other nonessential uses on site were moved to nearby buildings to free up space.

The price tag for such a renovation at the civic center could be as much as $35 million, Cohen said. A new building could cost as much as $80 million.

At the meeting Monday, civic center officials said that while Smith?s observations were enlightening, trustees had already expressed their support for a new arena.

?The board is on the record supporting a new facility,? Trustee Dale Olmstead said. ?That is still our recommendation.?

Trustees question the structural integrity of the building and its seating capacity.

Trustee Neal Pratt said he did not expect any major renovation or new construction in the near future, because the county has no money for such a project and the state is unlikely to chip in.

?We needed the local option sales tax,? Pratt said. ?We are all very familiar with the success of that.?

Pratt was referring to a failed attempt in 2005 by developer Joseph Boulos and others to secure funding through a meals and lodging tax. Development of a downtown convention and civic center hinged on support for such a tax from the governor, who ultimately decided against the proposal.

Trustees at Monday?s meeting questioned whether it was wise to spend $100,000 on further study of the civic center when no funds are available to improve or replace the building.

While the meeting produced no consensus on the future of the civic center, all parties agreed the county needs to show a united front, and some suggested trying to get the more rural towns in the county on board with improving the civic center.

?This is much bigger than what all of us can accomplish,? City Councilor Ed Suslovic said. ?We need to bring others in.?



Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net.
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:24 AM   #18
portlandneedsnewarena
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
Civic center talks fail to produce

By Kate Bucklin (published: October 26, 2006)
PORTLAND ? Mayor Jim Cohen thinks a little ?thinking outside the box? may allow the Cumberland County Civic Center, with its downtown location and recent praise from the architect who redesigned Fenway Park, to stay right where it is.

Other officials aren?t as optimistic.

The future of the civic center was discussed Monday afternoon at a meeting attended by civic center trustees, Cumberland County commissioners and Portland city councilors. It was the first time the three groups had met together, but the topic of conversation was one that has been in the spotlight several times during the past six years.

Although civic center officials hold the opinion that the best option for the 28-year-old arena is to build a new one somewhere else, architect Janet Marie Smith?s recent preliminary study of the building found it would be possible to renovate the civic center instead of rebuilding.

Past studies have questioned the structural integrity of the 6,800-seat building.

Smith designed the plans for renovation of Fenway Park and also designed Camden Yards in Baltimore. Cohen said when he toured the civic center with Smith in April he was encouraged by her ideas to solve major problems in the building, including inadequate seating, a shortage of set-up space for acts and an inadequate ?fan experience.?

The architect suggested the glass corners of the building could be built out to the abutting parking garage, and the ticket counter could be moved so the Spring Street concourse could be used by fans. In the additional space, a restaurant and bar and standing room for show-goers could be added, Cohen said.

Cohen also said that in the case of Fenway, offices and other nonessential uses on site were moved to nearby buildings to free up space.

The price tag for such a renovation at the civic center could be as much as $35 million, Cohen said. A new building could cost as much as $80 million.

At the meeting Monday, civic center officials said that while Smith?s observations were enlightening, trustees had already expressed their support for a new arena.

?The board is on the record supporting a new facility,? Trustee Dale Olmstead said. ?That is still our recommendation.?

Trustees question the structural integrity of the building and its seating capacity.

Trustee Neal Pratt said he did not expect any major renovation or new construction in the near future, because the county has no money for such a project and the state is unlikely to chip in.

?We needed the local option sales tax,? Pratt said. ?We are all very familiar with the success of that.?

Pratt was referring to a failed attempt in 2005 by developer Joseph Boulos and others to secure funding through a meals and lodging tax. Development of a downtown convention and civic center hinged on support for such a tax from the governor, who ultimately decided against the proposal.

Trustees at Monday?s meeting questioned whether it was wise to spend $100,000 on further study of the civic center when no funds are available to improve or replace the building.

While the meeting produced no consensus on the future of the civic center, all parties agreed the county needs to show a united front, and some suggested trying to get the more rural towns in the county on board with improving the civic center.

?This is much bigger than what all of us can accomplish,? City Councilor Ed Suslovic said. ?We need to bring others in.?



Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net.
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:29 AM   #19
portlandneedsnewarena
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portlandneedsnewarena
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
Civic center talks fail to produce

By Kate Bucklin (published: October 26, 2006)
PORTLAND ? Mayor Jim Cohen thinks a little ?thinking outside the box? may allow the Cumberland County Civic Center, with its downtown location and recent praise from the architect who redesigned Fenway Park, to stay right where it is.

Other officials aren?t as optimistic.

The future of the civic center was discussed Monday afternoon at a meeting attended by civic center trustees, Cumberland County commissioners and Portland city councilors. It was the first time the three groups had met together, but the topic of conversation was one that has been in the spotlight several times during the past six years.

Although civic center officials hold the opinion that the best option for the 28-year-old arena is to build a new one somewhere else, architect Janet Marie Smith?s recent preliminary study of the building found it would be possible to renovate the civic center instead of rebuilding.

Past studies have questioned the structural integrity of the 6,800-seat building.

Smith designed the plans for renovation of Fenway Park and also designed Camden Yards in Baltimore. Cohen said when he toured the civic center with Smith in April he was encouraged by her ideas to solve major problems in the building, including inadequate seating, a shortage of set-up space for acts and an inadequate ?fan experience.?

The architect suggested the glass corners of the building could be built out to the abutting parking garage, and the ticket counter could be moved so the Spring Street concourse could be used by fans. In the additional space, a restaurant and bar and standing room for show-goers could be added, Cohen said.

Cohen also said that in the case of Fenway, offices and other nonessential uses on site were moved to nearby buildings to free up space.

The price tag for such a renovation at the civic center could be as much as $35 million, Cohen said. A new building could cost as much as $80 million.

At the meeting Monday, civic center officials said that while Smith?s observations were enlightening, trustees had already expressed their support for a new arena.

?The board is on the record supporting a new facility,? Trustee Dale Olmstead said. ?That is still our recommendation.?

Trustees question the structural integrity of the building and its seating capacity.

Trustee Neal Pratt said he did not expect any major renovation or new construction in the near future, because the county has no money for such a project and the state is unlikely to chip in.

?We needed the local option sales tax,? Pratt said. ?We are all very familiar with the success of that.?

Pratt was referring to a failed attempt in 2005 by developer Joseph Boulos and others to secure funding through a meals and lodging tax. Development of a downtown convention and civic center hinged on support for such a tax from the governor, who ultimately decided against the proposal.

Trustees at Monday?s meeting questioned whether it was wise to spend $100,000 on further study of the civic center when no funds are available to improve or replace the building.

While the meeting produced no consensus on the future of the civic center, all parties agreed the county needs to show a united front, and some suggested trying to get the more rural towns in the county on board with improving the civic center.

?This is much bigger than what all of us can accomplish,? City Councilor Ed Suslovic said. ?We need to bring others in.?



Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net.
They need to bring us in. They really need to sell a new arena and it's economic benefits to the public. Thinking back, did Joe B. really do a good enough job of doing that as far as the failed Lincoln Center project was concerned?
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:34 AM   #20
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well I think the right job would have been for him to sell it to the business community, as they would be the ones to stand in opposition or support of it the most (because they would be the primary ones affected by it). after he sold it to them, they could garner support for the rest of the county. I think he was doing that.
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