Downtown Wichita arena

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2019 nears $5 million

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2019 nears $5 million

A truthful accounting of the finances of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita shows a large loss. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters cite a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and it hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. There are at least two ways of looking at the finance of the arena. Nearly all attention…
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The finances of Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita

The finances of Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita

A truthful accounting of the finances of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita shows a large loss. Despite hosting the NCAA basketball tournament, the arena's "net income" fell. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters cite a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and it hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. There are at least two ways…
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Wichita considers a new stadium

Wichita considers a new stadium

The City of Wichita plans subsidized development of a sports facility as an economic driver. Originally published in July 2017. This week the Wichita City Council will consider a project plan for a redevelopment district near Downtown Wichita. It is largely financed by Tax Increment Financing and STAR bonds. Both divert future incremental tax revenue to pay for various things within the district.[1. Weeks, Bob. STAR bonds in Kansas. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/star-bonds-kansas/.] [1. Weeks, Bob. Wichita TIF projects: some background. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/wichita-tif-projects-background/.] City documents promise this: "The City plans to substantially rehabilitate or replace Lawrence-Dumont Stadium into a multi-sport…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2017 is $4,222,182

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2017 is $4,222,182

As in years past, a truthful accounting of the finances of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita shows a large loss. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters cite a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and it hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. There are at least two ways of looking at the finance of the…
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Naftzger Park contract: Who is in control?

Naftzger Park contract: Who is in control?

The City of Wichita says it retains final approval on the redesign of Naftzger Park, but a contract says otherwise. As part of the proposed redesign of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita, an architectural firm has been engaged, and a contract agreed to. I've made the document available through Google Drive here. In responding to my request for the contract, the city included this information: The Naftzger Park design contract you requested is between SWA Balsley and TGC Development Group. SWA has provided a copy of the draft agreement. The City has coordinated with TGC in this effort to ensure…
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Downtown Wichita gathering spaces that don’t destroy a park

Downtown Wichita gathering spaces that don’t destroy a park

Wichita doesn't need to ruin a park for economic development, as there are other areas that would work and need development. One of the reasons for the redesign of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita is to increase economic development. A city council agenda held, "These recommendations include opening up the park to provide for increased walking and public activity as well as to encourage development adjacent to the park." [1. Wichita city council agenda packet, July 18, 2017. Item IV-3.] Other city documents say the redesign of the small downtown Wichita park is to, "create a continuous flex space for…
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Naftzger Park concerts and parties?

Naftzger Park concerts and parties?

In Wichita, a space for outdoor concerts may be created across the street from where amplified concerts are banned. One of the City of Wichita's stated purposes for the redesign of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita is to, "create a continuous flex space for multi-use; i.e. Tai Chai, as well as other passive use activities including but not limited to weddings, concerts, performances, films, special celebrations and parties as well as quiet contemplation." [1. Request for Qualifications No. -- FP740043. Available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B97azj3TSm9MQ1ZVcXVsNVQ2dkE/view.] There may be a problem, however. Directly across the street from Naftzger Park lies Gallery Alley. This…
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In Wichita, new stadium to be considered

In Wichita, new stadium to be considered

The City of Wichita plans subsidized development of a sports facility as an economic driver. This week the Wichita City Council will consider a project plan for a redevelopment district near Downtown Wichita. It is largely financed by Tax Increment Financing and STAR bonds. Both divert future incremental tax revenue to pay for various things within the district.[1. Weeks, Bob. STAR bonds in Kansas. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/star-bonds-kansas/.] [1. Weeks, Bob. Wichita TIF projects: some background. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/wichita-tif-projects-background/.] City documents promise this: "The City plans to substantially rehabilitate or replace Lawrence-Dumont Stadium into a multi-sport athletic complex. The TIF project…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2016 is $4,293,901

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2016 is $4,293,901

As in years past, a truthful accounting of the finances of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita shows a large loss. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters cite a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. An example: In February 2015 the Wichita Eagle reported: "The arena’s net income for…
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Naftzger Park in Downtown Wichita

Naftzger Park in Downtown Wichita

An information resource regarding the future of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. The City of Wichita is proposing to spend $1,500,000 to transform Naftzger Park from its present form to something else. Here are information resources: A Facebook group I created to share information. Please join and get involved. Request for Qualifications, including Renewed Urban Design Vision Statement. June 13, 2017. A photo album on Flickr. These photos are also in the facebook group. Update: The city council will consider setting the date for a public hearing. See Naftzger Park public hearing to be considered.
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On Wichita’s STAR bond promise, we’ve heard it before

On Wichita’s STAR bond promise, we’ve heard it before

Are the City of Wichita's projections regarding subsidized development as an economic driver believable? This week the Wichita City Council will consider a project plan for a STAR bonds district near Downtown Wichita. These bonds divert future incremental sales tax revenue to pay for various things within the district.[1. Weeks, Bob. STAR bonds in Kansas. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/star-bonds-kansas/.] City documents promise this: "The City plans to substantially rehabilitate or replace Lawrence Dumont Stadium as a modern multi-sport stadium as part of a larger project to develop the river and stadium areas. ... Combined, the museum, pedestrian bridge, waterfront improvements and…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2015 is $4.1 million

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2015 is $4.1 million

The depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters cite a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing is depreciation expense. There hasn't been much talk…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2014 is $5 million

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2014 is $5 million

The depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. But no one wants to talk about this. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters promote a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing…
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WichitaLiberty.TV September 15, 2013

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV, host Bob Weeks reviews chapter 4 of "Economics in One Lesson," about how public works mean taxes, and efforts to create jobs through spending on public works do more ham than good, if the public asset is not truly needed. The tax used to build the Instrust Bank Arena in Wichita is analyzed in this light. Then on to chapter 5, "Taxes Discourage Production." Amanda BillyRock illustrates, and Bob explains that notwithstanding inventions like the powdered orange drink Tang, innovation and progress comes primarily from the private sector, not from government programs. Episode 13, broadcast…
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Touring a Wichita-owned downtown retail development

I have often wondered why economists, with these absurdities all around them, so easily adopt the view that men act rationally. This may be because they study an economic system in which the discipline of the market ensures that, in a business setting, decisions are more or less rational. The employee of a corporation who buys something for $10 and sells it for $8 is not likely to do so for long. ... A politician who wastes his country’s resources on a grand scale may have a successful career. -- Ronald Coase At one time it was thought that the…
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Intrust Bank Arena finances: The worst news is hidden

The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters promote a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true economics of the arena. There are two ways of looking at the finance of the arena. Most attention is given to the "profit" (or loss) earned by the arena for the county according to an operating and management agreement between the county and SMG,…
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Wichita Intrust Bank Arena profit, in perspective

Last week the Sedgwick County Commission heard a report from county managers regarding the financial performance of the Intrust Bank Arena. The arena, located in downtown Wichita, is owned by the county. The main facts are that revenue and profits are down. A Wichita Eagle article holds more details about the numbers. What citizens need to know is this: The honeymoon is over. The promised boost to downtown that arena backers promised has yet to materialize in any broad sense. When it does poke through -- an example being the Ambassador Hotel -- it requires many millions of taxpayer subsidy.…
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Wichita city council: substance and process

Today the Wichita City Council will conduct a public hearing for the second time. The reason the council must hold the hearing again is that a mistake was made in the official notice of the hearing. While I commend the city for realizing the mistake and following the letter of the law in conducting the hearing again, we must contrast this behavior, which is following the process according to the law, with the council's past behavior, which has shown no regard for the spirit and substance of the law regarding public hearings. The most recent example is when the city…
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Intrust Bank Arena depreciation expense ignored

Reports that income earned by the Intrust Bank Arena is down sharply has brought the arena's finances back into the news. The arena, located in downtown Wichita and owned by Sedgwick County, is deemed to be a success by the county and arena boosters based on "profit" figures generated during its first year of operations. But these numbers are not an honest assessment of the arena's financial performance. When the numbers were presented to Sedgwick County commissioners this week, commission chair Dave Unruh said that he is "pleased that we we still are showing black ink." He then made remarks…
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Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena shrouded in mystery

Okay, maybe that's a little over-hyped, but when arena cheerleader Rhonda Holman of the Wichita Eagle starts to question the operations of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita, there must be something going on. Holman's column of yesterday complained of lack of transparency in the arena's operations: "But with hindsight, and with the Intrust Bank Arena open three months and generating revenue, it's more clear all the time that county leaders gave away too much oversight authority to SMG, leaving citizens in the strange and frustrating position of having too little hard information about how their $206 million investment is…
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