Six Years of Making the Ballpark an Even Bigger Loser


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In 2016 Goodyear taxpayers PAID every spring training attendee the equivalent of $62 for every seat purchased.

I assume you all know that the Goodyear Ballpark is a big money loser, (about $10 million per year in losses) that we signed up to a ball park contract that sucks for taxpayers, and that we will never get our promised capital reimbursements from the valley sports authority.

You all know that, right?

But do you realize that Goodyear collects about $7.5 million in TOTAL primary property taxes each year?

ALL YOUR PROPERTY TAXES AND THEN SOME GO TOWARD PAYING FOR THE LOSSES AT THE GOODYEAR STADIUM.

But it’s even worse than that.

Not only is the Goodyear Ballpark a loser for taxpayers, but your city management and incumbent city council have managed to make it an even BIGGER loser year after year after year.

Wouldn’t you think that any responsible public official who realized that MORE than the total primary property tax was paying for a losing investment would do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to REDUCE those loses?

But not Goodyear.

Here are the facts. (Actuals are only available through 2015 so that is as far as I can show actuals. Budget figures are noted.).

Taxpayers pay about $8 million each year in debt service for the bonds that financed the ball park. (Goodyear WAY over charges you for your utilities in order to pay for that but I’ll discuss that in another post.)

But let’s just forget about that for a minute. Its a sunk cost, and unless someone in the city had the will and ability (which they obviously do not) to go renegotiate with the billionaire owners of the Indians and Reds for a better deal for taxpayers, those debt service costs are with us for a long, long, long time.  In fact, the original bonds extended BEYOND the date of the end of the contract Goodyear has with the Indians and Reds. So conceivably, both teams could leave and taxpayers would still be paying off the stadium.

And… Goodyear has NOT paid off any of the near $100 million in PRINCIPLE for the stadium.

And finally, before we leave the debt issue, in November of last year Goodyear said they would refinance and EXTEND further the life of the stadium bonds.

So your grandchildren can pay it off.

But it’s even worse than that, thanks to year after year bad decisions by the incumbent city council on the year to year operation of the ball park.

From 2011 to 2015, Goodyear has increased ball park operating expenditures from $3.5 million per year in 2011 to $4.1 million in 2015 with a peak of $4.3 million in 2014, and they have budgeted $4.4 million in 2017.

If all that spending had increased revenues and lowered operating losses at the stadium, that would be good management. But in fact, since 2011 operating losses at the stadium have increased year after year.

In 2011, the Goodyear ball park had $3.5 million in expenditures.
In 2011, the Goodyear ball park had $1.5 million in revenues.
For a total OPERATING LOSS of about $1.9 million.

In 2012 the operating loss was also $1.9 million but it could have been lower except for an increase in expenditures which rose to $3.7 million.

In 2013 (when the current incumbents were elected) the operating loss increased further to $2.2 million on expenditures of $3.9 million.

In 2014 the loss was $2.1 million on a whopping $4.3 million of expenditures.

But what about the City of Goodyear 2017 Budget?

Goodyear has budgeted its highest stadium operating expenditures yet at $4.4 million and another operating loss of over $2.1 million.

If, during the five years from 2011 to 2015 the Goodyear city council had merely demanded that operating losses at the stadium NOT exceed the 2011 amount of $1.9 million, then taxpayers would have saved over a half a million dollars.

And if they were interested and even capable of managing taxpayer money responsibly, they could have saved taxpayers even more.

Add in the $8 plus million of debt service (no principle payments) and the ball park costs taxpayers over $10 million per year.

That means that thanks to your Goodyear mayor and incumbent city council, Goodyear taxpayers PAY over $62 PER ATTENDEE to attend a spring training game.

Every attendee, every game, all taxpayers. $62 per person who sits in a seat in the Goodyear ballpark during spring training.

I hope you like people from Ohio, because you’re doing them a really big favor.

 

 

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6 Responses

  1. Remember Sports Fans—the ball park was an idea campaigned by Jim Cavanaugh and through her inaction supported by Georgia Lord.

  2. And the ole boy, Jim Cavanaugh, wh got the ball rollin wants to be your mayor… again. You’d all be fools.

  3. Remember Mary the Major is only one vote on council so the rest of the idiots that you all keep re-electing are more at fault than he is. Perhaps if PebbleCreek idiot voters who have for years voted for the same of group of sub level council members their friends. The ole’ political
    group who can’t read, understand or comprehend a budget means or says, who love their ribbon cuttings, political chicken dinners used get trips to Washington DC to visit their political hacks were voted OUT Goodyear would stand a chance for change until then, the greatest form of stupidity is repeating the same things over & over and expecting different results. PebbleCreek and voters you can’t bitch you get what you vote for…………………….

  4. I don’t understand why more money is allocated into a losing venture it would make sense to try and get some money from the franchise owners to offset the losses to the citizen’s of Goodyear. I’m not sure the people running for office could stop this flow of money into a losing proposition .

  5. Interesting information….but what are our choices for changing this?

    • First they should lower the operating costs. Run it at absolutely lowest possible cost to minimize losses.
      Second they should tell the teams they want to renegotiate and get some help with the costs.
      Third, if all else fails, walk away from it. The city would lose less money that way.

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