The purpose of this economic incentive request is to provide a viable alternative to other proposals filed or that may be filed with the City of Greensboro's "economic development team", that is better for creating jobs, growing entrepreneurship and improving the quality of life for all of Greensboro's taxpayers, instead of just a select few at the expense of everyone else.
Greensboro's WWI Memorial Stadium Complex, owned by Greensboro's taxpayers, has been neglected, is in disrepair and is in need of rehabilitation.
The stadium sits on a large city owned property located in East Greensboro, where economic development has been neglected at almost every turn for at least the last 20 years.
Greensboro's leaders want our city to be known as a tournament town.
Strategic Economics Group of Des Moines, Iowa stated in February, 2012 in a proposal for a youth baseball tournament and training facility for the Field of Dreams site east of Dyersville.;
"Youth sports activity is big business and getting bigger. American families spent $7 billion traveling to youth sports tournaments during 2010. According to Sports Events Magazine, over 2.2 million youth participate in Little League Baseball and over 1.2 million females ages 8 to 18 play softball...
...According to the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), American families spent $7 billion traveling to youth sports tournaments during 2010. That amounts to about 10 percent of national leisure travel industry expenditures...
...in year 0, the economic impact of the construction activity on Iowa would be an increase of $37.1 million in output, $13.2 million increase in labor income and an additional 306 fulltime equivalent jobs. (IMPLAN model)"
By converting the baseball field into a smaller one where adult softball, little league baseball and fast pitch softball can be played on two to three other fields at the complex and new fields up the street at Aycock Middle School, a hotel and restaurant could fit along the third base line in what were stands and the grandstand and in between the outside of center field of the memorial ball park and the others.
Many amateur softball and baseball players and parents from out of town would love to play or watch their kids compete on a famous field where scenes from the movie Bull Durham were filmed, near a thriving downtown environment.
As there are very few hotels in the area, which is close to downtown, A&T University and Bryan Park sports fields and golf course, a hotel in an awesome location overlooking the oldest ballpark in North Carolina where many famous players like Jackie Robinson, Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Rod Carew, Crash Davis, Jack McKeon, Carl Yastrzemski, Lou Piniella, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Billy Martin, Reggie Sanders, Bobby Murcer, Derek Jeter, Bobby Shantz, Don Mattingly, Otis Nixon, Gus Zernial, Andy Pettitte, Roy Campenella, Rico Petrocelli, Rusty Staub, Hal, "Skinny" Brown, Jorge Posada, Roy White, Gene Tenace, Tony Perez, Mariano Rivera, Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, Curt Flood, Tom Tresh, Phil Linz, Jim Bouton, Pee Wee Reese, Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell and Curt Schilling played, should keep it booked year round.
As Tom Alston and Buck Leonard played for or against the Greensboro Red Wings of the Negro Southern League, Greensboro's Civil Rights museum can bring in higher attendance.
Conway Twitty and Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys were once part owners of the team.
The complex would add to attendance at Greensboro's Sciquarium, the Grasshopper's, the Children's, and Greensboro Museums and venues like the Coliseum, Carolina Theater and GPAC.
Baseball and softball leagues could use the facility during the week.
Local school teams could play championships etc... on the field as well.
By coordinating with nearby sports venues, tournaments could fill the hotel and restaurant overlooking the fields, without creating direct competition with the Grasshoppers’ profitability, and would probably increase attendance at the Grasshopper's downtown park.
Greensboro can create a direct investment into the economic vitality of our community while not increasing outstanding debt.
The Complex would be owned by a non-profit, which will purchase Greensboro's War Memorial Stadium Complex, rejuvenate the stadium, build fields and a 180 room hotel providing views of the playing fields.
The City of Greensboro would invest (not borrow) about $15,000,000 of more than $200,000,000 in short term securities held off balance sheet, which is currently making less than 3% per year.
If taxpayer monies are utilized to create jobs via economic incentives, taxpayers should/could own the taxpayer funded share of the complex. Citizens who've never felt like they owned equity in an entrepreneurial enterprise would have a better understanding of how to create wealth in our community, thereby teaching as many in our area how to "fish".
As Greensboro taxpayers should own shares, so can the investing public, via a $200 minimum individual investment via shares which could appreciate in value and would pay a dividend every 5 years, coincident with the city. Combined total investment between the public and private sectors should be somewhere around $30 million.
According to the city of Greensboro, if a 180 room hotel should bring in a total of $29 million in annual economic impact, not counting the revenues from tournaments etc..., a sports tournament complex should bring in more.
Tournament fees average somewhere between $500-$750 per team.
At capacity, 12 fields across Greensboro could host tournaments with 60 teams including 16 persons per team (including two coaches and 2 umpires), which should bring in 960 players, not including family and friends, centered within a mile of downtown on the East side, which would substantially add to the vitality of businesses in the area, and increase the property tax values of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Restaurants and other businesses would thrive nearby, the farmers market would bring in more business, and home values in the area would rise.
The Stadium Complex as Entrepreneurship Incubator;
5 to 6 year staggered contracts for all employees including executive management and board members, service providors (audit, accounting etc...) and vendors, after which positions to be allocated to new employees.
Dividend payments would pay out 80% of publicly disclosed profits relative to the ratio of private and public investment every 5 to 6 years, upon the completion of the CEO's contract, after which a new CEO would take over, hopefully hired from within.
As there would be no debt, a dividend payout as a tax credit would directly lower property taxes every 5 years, which would not be "expected" by the City for budgeting purposes.
$1,000,000 profit per year x 5 years = $5,000,000
20% funds an endowment for property upkeep, and savings to pay back the $15,000,000.
80% is returned to investors; $2,000,000 to taxpayers, directly lowering their tax bills, and the same to those who invested private money.
Partner with local educational institutions for employees and training;
After 5 years, housekeepers should know how to manage a hotel housekeeping staff.
After 5 years, low level management should know how to manage a hotel etc...
After 5 years, unless promoted, others in our community should have the opportunity for employment, as Greensboro's taxpayers funded the project.
After 30 years, the City of Greensboro gets its $15 million back, the company turns for-profit and begins paying property taxes.
Employees would be paid on productivity and profitability and executive pay wouldn’t exceed 10 times the average hourly wage of those employed at the facility. The idea being to maximize the incomes of the employees as much as possible, to create higher rates of economic of income and growth in our community while creating a highly trained workforce with sustainable profit for taxpayers and investors. The project should not only enrich those who are usually already wealthy, who tend end up with taxpayer funded economic incentive grants, but those who paid for the project and those whose labor make it successful.
In other words, a business model that would fight income and wealth inequality that would blow away our current model that bleeds shareholder profits to top corporate executives and their boards.
A publicly financed project that incentivizes employee pay on performance, quality and profitability could make the Piedmont Triad the center of the next era of corporate structure, by paying employees as much as possible within the metrics of a company that would
make existing rentier models extinct.