Friday, October 16, 2015

Scearce: I wish there was a sugar daddy in this town

The phrase that stuck with KZRG listeners after they heard an interview with Joplin City Councilman Bill Scearce on Morning News Watch Thursday was when he offered his dream solution to the city's problems with the Joplin Blasters contract.

"I wish there was an independent sugar daddy in this town," Scearce said, The comment came at the conclusion of his interview with Chad Elliot, in which he detailed the history of the city's dealings with the Blasters and the baseball team's request for a restructuring of its contract.

Scearce noted that such an independent sugar daddy, the late John Q. Hammons, was responsible for landing minor league baseball in Springfield.

The situation the city faces is that under the terms of the contract, the Blasters are required to pay $150,000 a year, but they are wanting that amount trimmed to $50,000 a year. If the city agrees, then Joplin taxpayers would end up subsidizing a private business to the tune of $100,000 annually.

"I would love for the Blasters to stay," Scearce said, "but I don't believe there is any way we can restructure the contract without the city subsidizing it."

The primary reason the City Council voted to enter into an agreement with the Blasters in the first place was what Scearce described as a "flawed" report commissioned by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.

The report included the economic impact of a plaza retail shopping area with loft apartments, a plan that fell through almost immediately. Scearce pointed out that one problem with such surveys is that the people who are doing the survey find out the end result the employer is hoping for and steer the report in that direction.

Part one of KZRG Interview

Part two of KZRG Interview

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Send them down the road.

Anonymous said...

I thought a sugar daddy was someone who traded sex for money and favors. Boy was I wrong, or was I?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when government tries to sponsor business by financing it's infrastructure (the stadium). Wait for the cries of " we have to save Joe Becker"; "we have to have a baseball team to make Joplin an attractive place to live"; "it's only $2/citizen".
Fools and their money are soon parted.
Joplin City council is on a roll for sure.
With Chamber of Commerce cheerleading the spending of taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Where the hell are all those conservatives who are always yelling "Keep government out of business!!!!!"????? Hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

I'm one at 2:45. ��

Anonymous said...

This should not be that difficult to solve. The issues are whether or not the Blasters were given the correct data on attendance estimates and whether the data was from a comparable brand of baseball. So, why not get figures from the league that the Blasters actually play in and figure out a new attendance goal. Then once a new goal is attained, adjust the payment based on that figure for a couple years and see where everyone stands. I would also require that the Blasters spend x amount for marketing based on league averages. The marketing was pretty lame in my opinion. There is a lot more that could have been done prior to school being out to get bodies in the park, rain not withstanding.

Lets not give up on this. Joplin does not have a lot to offer for entertainment. If this fails I seriously doubt if another team will show up. I doubt this park would have much use without a permanent tenant. Concerts are not a viable option. The park lies in the middle of a neighborhood for crying out loud. Lets all work together and make this happen.

Anonymous said...

False. What this town needs is more sugar babies. For real though, baseball doesn't flip my switch. Where the pretty young women at?

Anonymous said...

This should not be that difficult to solve. The issues are whether or not the Blasters were given the correct data on attendance estimates and whether the data was from a comparable brand of baseball. So, why not get figures from the league that the Blasters actually play in and figure out a new attendance goal. Then once a new goal is attained, adjust the payment based on that figure for a couple years and see where everyone stands. I would also require that the Blasters spend x amount for marketing based on league averages. The marketing was pretty lame in my opinion. There is a lot more that could have been done prior to school being out to get bodies in the park, rain not withstanding.

Lets not give up on this. Joplin does not have a lot to offer for entertainment. If this fails I seriously doubt if another team will show up. I doubt this park would have much use without a permanent tenant. Concerts are not a viable option. The park lies in the middle of a neighborhood for crying out loud. Lets all work together and make this happen.

Anonymous said...

John Q Hammons was shrewd business man who spent decades (3 at least) laying the framework for the Jordan Valley revitalization and that field/team was his crowning jewel. For city council to think the Blasters are failing because some rich philanthropist didn't sprinkle their money around is ignorant and short-sighted (which is exactly why the Blasters will fail).

The Blasters were touted as Joplin's version of the Springfield Cardinals when they are more akin to the Ozark Mountain Ducks. Ironically that is the team that JQH put out of business which left the city of Ozark with an albatross of a stadium (and debt) they can't do anything with. Sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

In response to 7:49PM.....an analysis of the league attendance using the published attendance from the AAIB (the league the Blasters are in) was done and provided to the City Council by a third party. It showed that the average AAIB game attracted 1.2% of the city population base and .5% of the metro population base. This clearly demonstrated that the official Chamber report, which claimed that the average game would attract 5.8% of the city population base and 1.6% of the metro population base, was highly exaggerated, misleading, and was projecting an impact based on a total attendance that was 4.8 times greater than the league average. Anyone who took the time to study the Chamber report and researched the actual league attendance figures would have seen this glaring discrepancy.

The fact that the Rob O'Brien and the Chamber intentionally presented a flawed and misleading report is just one more reason why it it time for a large scale reorganization of the Chamber and for the City to seriously re-evaluate it's relationship with that organization. The Chamber has lost all credibility and no longer shares the same values as the community.

Regardless of the Chamber's culpability in this situation, the fact remains that the City Council and the city staff (at the time of the agreement) failed to do their due diligence and now has a serious issue on its hands. I personally would love to see some form of baseball continue at Joe Becker Stadium....the question now is whether it will be the Blasters or some other team and how much will it cost the taxpayers. Should it be necessary to let the Blasters walk-away, I think the City should seriously consider developing a better relationship with the Outlaws and supporting a team and organization which has the potential of being more than what it is.

Anonymous said...

JQH was also able to entice the local university to play at his field. Why was this not done at Joe Becker?

Anonymous said...

Another note.....the third-party analysis (not the Chamber report) provided to the City Council prior to the agreement with the Blasters also indicated that ticket sales represented 49% of a team's total revenues with the remaining 51% coming from concessions, merchandise, and other point of sale items. Sponsorship revenues were not included in these figures. The point is...when the City Council knew that the Plaza was not going to happen it became even more evident that the Blasters would not achieve the revenues that were necessary to meet their financial obligations. So, the question remains.....why would the City move forward with a deal that they knew was based on bad information and clearly was not going to be able to meet the financial expectations that were necessary for the venture to be successful and sustainable?

Anonymous said...

To 611, Thanks for this information. I had read earlier that the data was not from the Blasters league. However, the issue of reliable data is still the problem and should be, and can be addressed. I agree 100% with you on the Chamber. It still amazes me that we are using tax payer money to fund this organization. If they want to prove themselves worthy of this money then they can start by solving this problem. I do not think that the Outlaw baseball team and its league could even come close to bringing in enough revenue to support the investment into Joe Becker.

Anonymous said...

The Chamber of Crooks. They need to be making the payments....

Anonymous said...

The amount of taxpayer money the Blasters are asking the city to forgive, or as many here say, "subsidize", is pennies compared to all the subsidies handed out through TIF zones, urban renewal zones, enterprise zones, etc. and these subsidies in many cases are handed out to private individuals through redevelopment corporations and offer nothing but a bunch of retail floor space for rent. I am tired of the city complaining about providing a few dollars towards quality of life type activities like the Joplin Festival, Memorial Hall, and then dolling out millions to private for profit operations. The festival was only being subsidized around 35,000 per year and hundreds of people enjoyed a free event, yet the poor city could just not find a way to help. So, for those that complain about a potentially fun and entertaining operations for all who choose to use being subsidized, take a look at how much the city has given away to the already rich to get more rich. Mr. Turner might want to take a look in the city building permit department and find out why the city issued a building permit on the old Doane's Pet Food plant that currently sits outside the city limits. It may well not be inappropriate but my guess is there is some reason under the sheets to issue a building permit on property that is not inside the city. So, lets keep the Blasters alive for a while, and the city can actually claim to be doing something for the enjoyment side of living here.

Dusty Roads said...

Scearce knows a thing or two about sugar daddy's

Dusty Roads said...

If I recall correctly, a Chamber employee a few years ago embezzled a bunch of money from the Festival