Fort Wayne still does not have a financial plan in place for Harrison Square. I remember back when the Mayor told me that he expected the project to be approved before April 1st. I am glad that Fort Wayne is taking the time necessary to put a deal together and is not submitting it to City Council until it is finished.
I still have not heard back from Fort Wayne about ANY of my questions. I believe this is due to the fact that the deal is still being negotiated.
I think that the deal is taking longer then expected because Hardball Capital, the new hotel developer, and Fort Wayne all want a significant portion of various revenues; basically, I think they are arguing over the "pie" and I am not sure the "pie" is big enough for all three.
The more I hear about the financing; the more I think that the "pie" is too small.
Consider this one little fact and you will see one of the many reasons why I think the City of Fort Wayne is struggling to put a plan together:
When the project was announced the Mayor of Fort Wayne proudly announced that Hardball Capital would pay 5 million dollars to build a new baseball stadium and that the City of Fort Wayne would be paying 25 million dollars.
To the average citizen this would mean that Hardball would put 5 million down and the City would finance a 25 million dollar bond for construction.
Many stadium supporters and citizens of Fort Wayne were outraged because they felt that Hardball should pay more then a measly 1/6 of the cost of a baseball stadium that they will get the revenue from!
The final plan has not been unveiled; however, it now looks like Hardball Capital will only be paying $250,000 per year for twenty years and that they will not be paying $5,000,000 down like expected...
This is a huge change.
Lets say the stadium still costs 30 million dollars. Lets say Hardball actually does make all payments to the City in a timely fashion over the next twenty years. That would mean that Fort Wayne (You and me my friends) would have to finance the entire 30 million dollar bond and Hardball would just be paying (In present value terms) about 3 million dollars. In other words, Hardball would just be paying 10% of the costs of building a new stadium...
If you thought 1/6 was very little; what do you think of 10%?
Realize that I am just making guesses based on what the newspapers have reported. I have not seen any numbers from Fort Wayne in over a month...
What have you heard?