Intrust Bank arena

More money to Wichita government

A letter in today's Wichita Eagle places a lot of faith on things not yet seen, and in things we know don't work. "I think it is dumb that people are complaining about the new Intrust Bank Arena. It will bring money and tourists to Wichita, not to mention great entertainment. That means more money brought to our government, and that's a good thing. -- Caleb Beeson, Wichita" First, since the Intrust Bank Arena is not yet open, it has no track record. We have absolutely no idea how well it will do, financially or otherwise. A lot of people…
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Articles of Interest

Education reform, downtown Wichita arena, Kansas smoking ban, downtown developers Education’s Ground Zero (Nicholas D. Kristof in The New York Times) Describes the efforts of Washington D.C. public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee to reform the system. She's fired one-third of the principals. Kristof reminds us of the importance of teachers: "The reform camp is driven partly by research suggesting that great teachers are far more important to student learning than class size, school resources or anything else. One study suggests that if black kids could get teachers from the profession’s most effective quartile for four years in a row, the…
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Wichita downtown arena contract seems to require Sedgwick County approval

Sedgwick County, owner of the Intrust Bank Arena (the downtown Wichita arena), has a five-year contract with SMG that outsources the management of the arena. Yesterday, SMG announced a 10.5 year lease with the Wichita Thunder hockey team. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, and SMG is resisting their release, as explained in Wichita Eagle reporting referred to in my post Wichita downtown arena open records failure. But this much is clear: SMG has committed to a contract that lasts longer than their contract with the county. Sedgwick County could choose to renew SMG's contract, of course. The contract also…
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Wichita downtown arena open records failure

Yesterday, the company that manages the Intrust Bank Arena (the downtown Wichita arena) announced a lease with the arena's flagship tenant, the Wichita Thunder hockey team. But we don't know the details of the lease. Unbelievably, some Sedgwick County Commissioners and managers are okay with that. The Wichita Eagle article Details of Intrust Bank Arena contract with Thunder are a secret reports the details. I believe that the Eagle will be successful in pursuing a copy of the lease agreement from SMG (the company managing the arena for Sedgwick County) under the Kansas Open Records Act. Here's why: The KORA…
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Downtown Wichita (Intrust) arena groundbreaking

On Tuesday December 4, 2007, Sedgwick County hosted the formal groundbreaking ceremony for the downtown Wichita arena. While local government leaders and news media hailed the event as a transforming event in the history of Wichita, this writer does not share their enthusiasm. The building of this arena is government interventionism at its worst. Stakeholders in the arena, such as Bob Hanson of the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, demonstrate the harm of rent seeking, as they seek to obtain, at taxpayer expense, a large and expensive playhouse for their pleasure. Supporters dressed their arguments for the arena in the…
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Wichita News Media Coverage of Downtown Arena Issue

On the November 2, 2004 ballot the voters of Sedgwick County approved an additional one percent sales tax to fund an arena in downtown Wichita. I opposed the taxpayers funding an arena for this reason: Proponents claimed that the arena would pay for itself (and be a good ting for Wichita) through various forms of economic benefit, both direct and spillover. But I found no research that supported this claim, except for one report prepared by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University. I was able to find, however, much research that showed that these…
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Prepare for sales tax-induced job effects now

Collecting the sales tax to pay for the downtown Wichita arena may produce unintended consequences. A paper titled "An Assessment of the Economic Impact of a Multipurpose Arena" by Ronald John Hy and R. Lawson Veasey, both of the University of Central Arkansas, (Public Administration & Management: An Interactive Journal 5, 2, 2000, pp. 86-98) looked at the effect of jobs and economic activity during the construction of the Alltel Arena in Pulaski County, Arkansas. This arena cost $50 million. It was funded in part by a one percent increase in the county sales tax for one year (1998). The…
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