Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Crackpot Ogden Field House "Feasible" - UPDATED

It looks like Boss Godfrey is preparing to put on the public relations full court press
Update: Check out the entire 245-page study report via the SE Live! site

Original Submission (Edited): Gentle Reader ND

As Gomer Pyle would say...Surprize, Suprize, Suprize... The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that the projected financial numbers are in from Boss Godfrey's rigged Field House feasibilility study and are "far better than [even Boss Godfrey] expected." Get the whole SE rundown here:
Although this matter isn't technically on tonight's council calender, you can bet your boots that Boss Godfrey will be crowing about this during tonight's council meeting.

And it looks like Boss Godfrey is preparing to put on the public relations full court press. "Somebody" has already put up a promotional website, purportedly registered to Ogden City (Andy Lefgren):
How does the Godfrey administration justify expending city funds to publicly lobby for this hare-brained project? Beats us.

This morning's SE story also reveals that the Godfrey administration plans to apply for a RAMP grant prior to Friday's application submission deadline. Keep your eyes on Weber County Forum, folks, where we'll launch our own public relations counter-campaign after that date, in order to avoid the heaping of another crackpot multi-million dollar Boss Godfrey boondoggle upon the beleaguered Emerald City/Weber County taxpayers' backs.

So who will be the first to comment on this morning's SE story? The World Wide Blogosphere eagerly awaits your ever-savvy remarks.

Update 1/12/10 8:00 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner adds more information on purported Field House "feasibility" with this morning's supplementary story:
And Lo and Behold, Ace Reporter Schwebke seems to have succeeded in prying the entire (and heretofore secret) 210-page study report out of Boss Godfrey's grubby little hands, and made a PDF copy available for viewing via the SE Live! site, for the general public's careful examination:
Good goin', Mr. Schwebke! There are advantages, we think, to having Boss Godfrey's name and number placed atop your speed dial list.


OneWhoKnows said...

Do we really want this field house? Do we need it or can we afford it? No way! In Salt Lake and Provo, the universities own them, not the cities. Ask yourself, why does Godfrey push such lame ideas that benefit only the few?

Stupid is as stupid does. I'm hoping that this nightmare will end soon and Bobby Ewing will come out of the shower and tell us all it was only a very bad dream.

ND said...

Nice find on that who wants it website....its all rahrahsisboombah...except there is no mention of what it will cost or more importantly WHO will be paying for it...who wouldn't want it if it were free...but its not! not to mention...thats one ugly facade

One of the "naysayers" said...

Even if it was good for Ogden to have a fieldhouse/velodrome/whatever, and financing it wasn't an issue, I think the proposed location is terrible. Now I think it's great to have venues that will bring people downtown, but placing it on Grant is a lousy idea.

Maybe someone has already written about this, but what about the businesses that would have to relocate? It appears that if the field house were built in its proposed location, it would displace the office building currently occupied by Coggins and Lythgoe, as well as a few business on the east side of Grant. What about the infamous Lighthouse Lounge? Will the city administration be killing two birds with one stone by making the strip club have to go somewhere else?

ND said...

One of the "naysayers" .....there are more than 2 birds getting killed here and a few of the building owners on the east side of Grant are FOM's.....you are totally correct that this is a ridiculous site for this thing....at least they should locate it at the River Parkway so all those residents could enjoy it and walk to it..if they ever come....just another thought

whose paying?? said...

Once again, a misleading article in the SE. In the final paragraph Schwebke writes: "The city would also solicit money from private donors for the field house. Godfrey has said WSU and Weber county have expressed an interest in partnering with the city on the project." Given the first sentence, a reader would be safe to assume that the paragraph is about funding. Except that neither Weber County nor WSU has said anything about providing funds for the field house. in fact, in prior articles in the SE a county commissioner pointed out that the county has no plans to help fund this project and no one at WSU has said anything about helping to fund it. interesting that Godfrey's statement about "partnering" is provided, but the clarification that "partnering" has nothing to do with funding is not present.

ozboy said...

The whole "study" game is a scam!

There are a number of companies made up of politically well connected hustlers who do nothing by "study" one bull shit deal after another that are presented to them by one bull shit politician after another. I doubt if ever in the history of the "study" scam industry has one of these companies come back to the sponsoring politician with a report that says the politician's pet project is a loser. If they did come back with that result you can bet your ass they would never get another contract from that gummint unit or that politician where ever he/she went next.

"Studies" are just one more way that crooked and overly ambitious politicians have of pulling the wool over da sheep's eyes.

Dorrene Jeske said...

You can be sure that whatever Boss Godfrey says the cost is, it will cost about 10 times more. In doing research on field houses with similar amenities, the only one in the U.S. is located in Carson, CA. That field house cost was nearly $40 million in 1984. Google carsoncahomedepotcenter for their website. With inflation and specialization of the venues at $420. a square foot for more than 150,000 square feet, the cost would be about $100,000. million.
Besides the cost, there are several other reasons why the field house, as proposed, is ill-advised. 1) The size – will be about the same as the Dee Event Center at WSU. Can you picture the Dee Event Center sitting where the Marriott Hotel is? You’re right! 2) The proposed location is all wrong! The Marriott Hotel and the empty brokeage building on the west side of Grant along with mentioned businesses on the east side of Grant will need to be demolished to accommodate the field house. The word “quadrant” is a land surveying term and is used here to confuse the public as to where the field house will really be located Where would a bigger than 150,000 square foot building fit? We will be dislocating a property valued at $30/35. Million (the Marriott), to say nothing of the sales tax and hotel tax incomes and replacing it with a city-owned tax-exempt property. The value of the hotel has increased since the FrontRunner started running. Now Salt Lake can use the Marriott to help accommodate large conventions and conferences. 3) There is not enough land to accommodate the city-required parking of one parking space for every four people that may use the facility or 2,000 parking spaces. Also, the City requires that 20% of the surrounding land be green landscaping – another problem. 4) The proposed water park with the covered Olympic-sized pool would need to be located across Lincoln Avenue and displace the DMV building and the old Amalgamated Sugar factory.
Godfrey needs to rethink his latest nightmare for Ogden. Even if the field house is feasible, the location is all wrong! Besides killing a couple of birds with one stone, he would be satisfying the owners (old and new) of the Ben Lomond Hotel who blame the Hilton originally and now the Marriott hotel for the lack of patrons. The Administration needs to look at what really is best for Ogden, and quit playing politics with Ogden’s downtown economic development and tax base.

Curmudgeon said...

Just want to note that this is being rolled out in typical Godfrey style.... much hoopla and crowing while refusing to make public or to provide to the press the study. And the SE has, once again, consented to be played and turned into a Godfrey Administration House Organ by printing, unexamined, unquestioned and unverified, the Mayor's claim that the study results are far better than they were expected to be. The mayor didn't release the public-paid-for study, and the SE either didn't ask to see it, or meekly agreed to do his horn tooting for him anyway despite his refusing to provide it.

saveourship said...

Just what downtown Ogden needs; a kids swimming pool with waterslide.

Bullet Sponge said...

So Pravda says Comrade Godfrey's plan is a good one. Surprise!

The headline "Study : Field House Feasible" is blatantly misleading. It should read "Administration plans to release Field House Study". Which is all that is happening.

There is no study, and when there is one it will be a biased one skewed to support the administration. We really need a real newspaper in town. Seriously it's getting ridiculous.

Bill C. said...

I guess it all depends on what your definition of feasible is.
This story was brought to us by the same folks that bought the notion that magnetic advertizing signs attatched to gondola cars would fund the construction and operation of the ultimate monument to stupidity, an urban gondola.
Now we're expected to believe that some demand actually exists for the establishment of a grandiose hodgepodge of venues that the general public has enjoyed historically free of charge. Just what venue is expected to generate the extra revenue to carry all the other monetary losers?
Tennis anyone? Folks will play so much in the three winter months to fund all these operations annual overhead demands? Are all the free public tennis courts to be removed?
How many folks will be riding bicycles indoors and paying a premium for the opportunity?
None of these venues has a history of being able to generate the funds to support itself let alone carry the collective maintainence and overhead of the obvious deadweight novelties.
This study has been a waste of money, and a copout black eye for this Council that allowed it by approving the funding. To entertain any further discussion of this by any member of the Council must be interpreted as distain for the electorate and public good.
It's clearly time for this Council to grow a spine.

been there done that said...

I come from Elgin, Illinois and we built a downtown fitness center(field house) with a full menu of amenities. We had the feasibility studies to say it would be self supporting. It took years for that to occur. We as a city were fortunate as we had a riverboat that put $20 million into the city coffers every year and we covered the operating short fall in that manner. What is Ogden going to use to cover our shortfalls. Thinking they will have over 400,000 in the first year for the waterpark is so unrealistic it boggles the mind.

Bee in my Bonnet said...


Old Fred Meyer Building


Curmudgeon said...

Good that the SE put up on line the full study so it can be examined by people outside the Administration. But the study becoming available 24 hours after the SE did a wholly speculative piece, fueled entirely by tub-thumping assessments [absent the study itself\ from Hizzonah and his flacks makes it even plainer that yesterday's story was premature, and that the SE had no good reason to run with it absent the study it would have in its hands one day later.

Again, beyond reporting that the study was completed, and that Hizzonah said he'd release it soon, yesterday's piece was not good journalism, since it largely rested on self-serving and [then but not now] wholly un-verifiable claims by Hizzonah and his flacks.

PS to Rudi: any city beat reporter who didn't have the Mayor's office on speed dial wouldn't be doing his job.

ND said...

76k net on 6 million...1.3%...doesnt leave alot of room for any unseen mistakes...and we know there will be mistakes...does Scottie B work for the study firm now?...lol...comes to over 1100 waterpark users A DAY 365 days a week....wonder what North Ogden and Laytons does a day?....and who in thier right mind wants to be indoors during the summer in a waterpark?

Why a "field house"? Why?? said...

Who thinks a 5 member family is going to spend over $100 / day on this more than once?? (figuring $17.13 / person average entrance + snacks n stuff).

Dorrene Jeske said...

ND, good thinking. It will be another project that the taxpayers will have to subsidize. Then there is lost revenue from the hotel and other businesses that will be displaced. This is not good business sense! What kind of business leadership does Ogden have at the helm? Is this the kind of leadership we want or deserve?

ND said...

If this was such a good business model then private industry would be on it like white on rice....and the location...what a freaking JOKE! Talk about your urban planning nightmare!! You could not pick a much more costly place if you tried. It's utter maddness if this thing gets funded..there has got to be better ways to spend 40 million dollars that we as the taxpayers dont have!

Anonymous Employee said...

The Sportsplex in Kaysville is closing one of its indoor soccer field because they don't have enough business. The futsal season at The Gym in West Haven was cancelled this winter for my daughter due to lack of interest. Who would pay to play at the Fieldhouse when a facility with permanent walls and goals is available?


I finally figured out why the city and it's elected officials are pursuing this albatross project in the downtown area...it all makes sense now......while we are all watching out for this boondoggle, we won't pay attention to the real issue........it's so crystal clear.........they are trying to take attention away from the $12,000+ in alleged illegal funds Blain Johnson accepted from Ogden Envision and FNURE and distance all other city officials involved in this scandal from being investigated by our state attorney general. And the best part is it only cost $38,000 and it won't come out of any of their own pockets. Blain Johnson knows what a good attorney costs (even Charlie Rangel knows that), and the current city officials, I think they have some recent experience in litigation costs too. If the city is duped into actually passing off on this white elephant, it's mere bonus for those involved.

AWM said...

This could just be racked up as another Ogden City Administration fiasco..BUT..it is so far off the chart of common sense to plant this center in downtown (even for that cast of clowns) that I have to believe there is something the public doesn't know...I'm guessing there is a hidden agenda(s) and somebody stands to make a lot of money when all of the specifics come out...the WHOLE story has yet to be told

ND said...

Ironic that the SE editorial today is chastising Layton for hiring outside consultants to the tune of $33k to tell them what to do with land development....yet we just blew $38k on a study for the a rubber stamp.....

ND said...

Anyone actually read this thing?,....half of it is the study firm's resumes and project list...and some bogarted population and activity stats...whoopie doo...the other half of the half is repeating what the first half had....read the first two pages at least....read betwixt the lines too...

ozboy said...


I read the "study" and have the opinion that it is a lot of unsubstantiated projections and general "dazzle em with bull shit" copy.

The notion that they are going to have four hundred thousand paying customers the first year is really off the charts. They produce exactly nothing to substantiate the claim - which is the very foundation of everything else. They project 360 days of business which of course immediately begs the question - "what about Godfrey's long time and well known edict against Sunday openings, as witnessed by the Junction being closed on that day to this day. The 400 thousand projected paying customers a day for the projected opening of 360 days comes out to 1,100 cash spending people a day going through the place winter, summer, fall and springtime too.

Has any single business in the history of Ogden, other than real busy grocery stores had 1,100 paying customers come through the door every single day they were opened?

By the way, when the subject of this study came up a few weeks ago I wrote what the findings would be and thus offered to save the city the several thousand bucks they were paying. Said offer to save those tax payer's dollars was refused by the city.

ND said...

Precisely Oz.....and 8,000 season pass holders? yeah right....to answer your question on paying customers....the railway likely had the biddness....but thats a thing of the past...a past that this town was built around....sigh...we can't even get Frontrunner up here on Sunday....how can you attract SLC peeps here for the weekend to enjoy all our groovy stuff if they can't even get home the next day....

donk said...

Shades of the Salomon Center and Junction. This latest idiocy by our erstwhile city administration is shaping up like another familiar Godfrey development that hasn't developed.

This so-called feasibility study is an indication that the village idiot is learning. The big flopola of a few years back was started purely on G's sayso - won't cost the taxpayer a dime, etc.,etc.
This time around da Mayor is covering his butt with a spurious feasibility study.

We took and are still taking it in the shorts at the Junction and history says the same thing will occur with this fiasco, Weber U talks but they don't contribute and after the Ramp (if it is approved) Weber County will turn a deaf ear.

Same old, same old - either stop the Mayoral foolishness or else pay the price and the costs of calling ourselves Ogdenites is adding up

PPK said...

You can't have a wonderdome without a Facebook page to promote it.
"Ogden Fieldhouse and Indoor Waterpark".
Good place to get all the facts.

ND said...

WHOA!!!!..this on the Facebook page...now we have collaborators?...officially or eyewash?....or blatant bs?

This is a collaborative effort by Ogden City, Weber State University, Weber County, Ogden School District, and Weber School District. This project has significant community impact as thousands of Weber County residents will enjoy its amenities

Curmudgeon said...

It's worth a careful reading. The consultants say, I think, that their projections of use, revenues, etc. all assume that the city will provide/create adequate parking to serve the users of the Wonder Dome. And the administration has said Ogden will build a parking garage to make up for all the close-to-25th St. parking the behemoth will devour if it's built, and to service the Wonder Dome's customers.

Yet the costs of the garage construction are not included in the project, nor are the costs of maintaining and operating it included in the WonderDomes operating budget and income/expenses calculations.

Why not? If the parking structure is essential to the project, and the consultants suggest it is, why aren't its costs [construction and then operation and maintenance] included in the overall project figures?

NB: the maintenance and operation costs of a multi-story parking garage are not trivial. Recall that Ogden city gave away a city-built parking garage on Keisel to a private company for its employee's use in the recent past. Just gave it away. And the explanation was the city was losing money operating and maintaining the parking garage, so that it made budgetary sense to give it away and get those costs off the city budget.

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