Dec 27, 2011

The Allentown Arena and Crime

The recent spate of violence in Allentown begs the question, how will crime effect the success of the Arena project? The damaging factor is the perception of crime, which has it's own lingering consequences. The hockey games will succeed, but the spinoff business will never materialize. The fans will scurry back to their inconvenient parking places, and clog N. 8th street as they flee the city for the safety of Catasauqua. Although the BrewPub may pick up a few customers, Sangria and other high end places will wither. Anybody foolish enough to open an upscale shop will be hard pressed to honor their lease. Speaking of crime, when The Morning Call steals this topic, they will expand it into a 3,000 word article. Despite the photographs, charts and graphs they will add, plus a quote or two from college professors, the answer will remain the same. Although this post is meant as an opportunity for readers to address the crime question, I will host no comments on any specific crime. They are tragedies, which leave grieving families.


Monkey Momma said...

Reality definitely interferes with the arena plans. Unfortunately, crime is not just a perceived problem. It's a very real problem downtown. And crime defintely affects attendance at things like hockey games.

Expecting people to walk 2 or 3 blocks to and from the arena is extremely unrealistic. Folks do not want to "stroll" in Allentown, and all the wishful thinking in the world is not going to change that.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the construction cost overruns.

They ARE coming and they will be fun.

Seemingly EVERY stadium or arena I have every studied, apparently, suffers from this.

The Olympic Stadium in Montreal is only the latest but, holy smokes, what a financial fiasco! A lot closer to home, Reading provides a glimpse of what the Pawlowski Palace of Sport will do to "transform" the People's Democratic City With No Limits.

It is a good thing it is so in-vogue to hate "the Rich" these days. When the time comes, it will be easy to not only blame evil and greedy "Rich", but stick them with the 'unforeseen' bill, as well.

I do, however, also agree that the ice-hockey matches will, most-likely, be well-attended as are the IronPigs.

The cheapest hockey ticket will probably be at least $ 20, as compared to six dollars at the minimum for a baseball game at Coca-Cola (Taxpayer?) Park ... so I am not sure exactly how much extra spending money people, particularly in this period of the miraculous Obama Recovery, will have left over to eat at that fancy Purple Restaurant or whatever color that is on 6th.



Anonymous said...

A balmy summer evening with the family at a $6.00 baseball game vs. a freezing, icy, slippery stroll through crime city for a hockey game...America's 4th favorite sport. You make the call!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to a great venue for musical artists.

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to debt and devastation that will be the result of this ill conceived and very poorly orchestrated "project".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I'm looking forward to a great venue for musical artists."

Did the Tweeter Center revive Camden? Before you answer that, visit Camden. The center survives, yes, but take a walk (I dare you) and venture in any direction away from the attraction. Tell me what you see...

Harrisburg, our state capital. The beneficiary of countless tax dollars. It's in everyone's best interests that the capital city is lively, vibrant, safe...yet venture two to three blocks away from Second Street/Capitol area and what is seen?

I believe that the gist of the argument here is that while there will undoubtably be people willing to visit an arena, there is a serious doubt that success will spread in all directions, causing an unsafe city to become safer, or for shoppers to alter their shopping habits.

Hope I'm wrong, but we'll see...


Anonymous said...

The arena:

Who is to blame? Elected officials, not sports owners. Elected officials are so desperate to make sure that their cities were included in big time sports that they raised all sorts of taxes to get facilities built. They chased billionaire owners who had the glamour item they wanted, big league teams with big stars. It was a feel good item, a business that could make a whole city come together but sports franchises do nothing to solve cities and states real problems.

Sports franchises don’t solve unemployment or housing problems, sports franchises don’t improve the quality of health care or education. Sports franchises provide some entertainment, in Major League Baseball’s case, there are 81 home games a year out of a calendar of 365 days or 366 in leap years, a city might have an NBA and NHL team using an arena about 90 days a year and throw in some college basketball, that would be a 100 day use in a 365 or 366 day annual calendar. A National Football League team will use a facility about 10 teams a year.

Building a stadium or an arena in a municipality with public funds is a failed policy but it continues. Miami, which was burned by building an arena that was abandoned by the two main tenants after just 11 years of use, is at it again and will construct a baseball stadium for MLB’s Florida Marlins using “tourist” money among the various revenues of funding. San Jose, California is beginning the process of finding a way to get Lewis Wolff’s Oakland A’s into the city. Santa Clara, California would like to get the San Francisco 49ers into the town. At least no one is using the term “economic engine” anymore in justifying public spending on stadiums and arenas. In fact, there is no justification anymore; it is just let’s build a facility.