Venue News & Notes: Hotel Tax To Generate Stadium Revenue

The Santa Clara, CA, City Council this week will begin discussing the process of assessing a 2% hotel tax to generate revenue for the proposed stadium for the San Francisco 49ers next to the Great America theme park. Deputy City Manager Carol McCarthy said the meeting will be the start of the process to establish the community facilities district with the participation of the hotels within the district. If approved, hotel guests at the eight hotels within the district would be required to pay an additional 2% percent tax on their bill, she said, adding that the tax would not affect the city’s 9.5% transient-occupancy tax…

…The city of Orlando could default on the bonds used to pay for the construction of the Orlando Magic’s new arena just two years after the $480 million building opens, according to a leading financial-rating service. In the latest sign of how the recession has squeezed Orlando’s $1.1 billion plan for new and updated community venues, Fitch Ratings downgraded the bonds sold to finance the arena to “junk” status. The firm’s analysts also offered a dire warning: as soon as November 2012, there might not be enough money to cover debt payments…

…The Houston City Council has delayed consideration of a plan for a new stadium for the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer. A procedural move pushed back the vote to April 7. The action last Wednesday came from Councilman Jarvis Johnson, who raised concerns that Houston could end up in violation of its deal with the NBA’s Rockets that no other municipal venue would be used to compete for major events through 2013…

…A new poll finds that there is strong support for building a major-league ballpark near downtown San Jose, CA. In fact, 62% percent of San Jose voters would be willing to give the Oakland A’s city-owned land for a baseball stadium, as long as the team pays for building and operating it. Only 23% percent oppose the idea, and 13% are still undecided, according to the survey by the Survey and Policy Research Institute at San Jose State. The survey was commissioned by the San Jose Mercury News. Political science professor/KCBS political analyst Larry Gerston says these numbers bode well for supporters of a ballpark ballot measure…

…The Dallas suburb of Irving is planning for life after Texas Stadium, which will be demolished April 11. After 1,900 lbs. of explosives level the 65,639-seat stadium early that Sunday morning, Irving officials will target a similarly rare feat: redeveloping the site of a National Football League stadium for a different use. In Irving, that site is an 80-acre parcel at the busy intersection of Texas Highways 183 and 114, through which about 150,000 cars pass daily. Another 320 acres surrounding the site also are slated for redevelopment. Irving officials have enlisted Forest City Enterprises Inc., a veteran of several big urban-redevelopment projects, to help plan the effort…

…They are just two words: white and elephant. Together, they are enough to make any Olympic planner wake up in a cold sweat. “Absolutely — usually at 3 in the morning,” said Andrew Altman, a leading American urban developer who has a key role in deciding the long-term use of the Olympic Stadium and flagship complex being built for the 2012 London Games. “You don’t want to create these facilities at great investment just to sit idle.” The former deputy mayor of Philadelphia and head of the Anacostia waterfront project in Washington, Altman is chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Co., which is in charge of ensuring the post-Games success of one of the biggest British regeneration projects in decades.

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