Do We Really Need GBAD?

The Greater Boise Auditorium District has $13,000,000 burning a hole in its collective pocket–garnered from a hotel room tax on visitors to the City of Trees.

With the May 21 board election approaching, candidates are lining up with ideas on how to spend the cash. Perhaps we need a group dedicated to to doing nothing. A “Do Nothing” party could be a unifying factor in the community. Currently one group–Democrats supporting Mayor Dave Bieter–is leaning toward a downtown baseball park.

Combine that hotel tax revenue source with the $13 million-plus cash reserves currently held by the GBAD boys and girls and you have a sock full of public money just waiting to be spent on a $30,000,000 ball park that Boise residents overwhelmingly say should not be publicly funded. Furthermore, citizens will not have a vote on how any of the funds are spent, but they can vote for candidates May 21. (See link below to previous post)

The other group–more conservative business types– wants to expand the current Centre on The Grove either upward or on land the GBAD owns near the entrance to I-184.

Both camps claim their ideas will promote economic prosperity. If that is true, it would logically spell financial ruin for the businesses near the current Boise Hawks field on Glenwood. We doubt a move would be a disaster and we also doubt a downtown ball park would be a major asset either. The hotel industry has viewed the room tax as a fund dedicated to furthering their industry–specifically for downtown hotels. If The Grove is any example, downtown is just too crowded. They block streets regularly for events and the parking is cramped and bound to get worse with Trader Joe’s filling a lot at Capitol and Front.

We would like to see that room tax money go toward improving and maintaining things like Table Rock viewpoint, the Boise Depot, and “way finding” signs to direct tourists to points of interest from major intersections. Boise is simply not a tourist friendly destination, despite plenty of potential attractions.

The Daily Paper’s Sven Berg did a wrap up Friday on Candidates and their views–at least those who would talk.


Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Jean Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV’s minister of Finance, “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.”

  2. NO NO NO!

  3. I book a number of meetings and conferences each year in Boise, and while the attendees really enjoy staying downtown for the amenities, it’s so bloody expensive to book a conference room down there that I rarely do it. I can get a room for 30 people to meet for $250/day around the airport and out on Park Center, but to go downtown, it’s closer to $1000/day. That means those 30 attendees are taking their hotel, meal and recreation dollars outside downtown for the 3 nights they are here. And those are my small meetings–it can be more like 100 people for 3 days at a time for other events.

    I think GBAD needs to work with the facilities to make their prices more competitive, frankly.

  4. I agree with Anon. My company is moving our meetings west to the Eagle area. While the convention center is BIG it is expensive. If Meridian ever builds anything that will allow larger groups and they can do it for less then the Boise GBAD is DEAD.

  5. New to Boise
    May 14, 2013, 12:59 pm

    What is it with people on this site? It seems like everyone in Boise is opposed to change. A nice new downtown baseball field would be great for baseball and events downtown. With JUMP already being built, a core business area downtown would be both fruitful and convenient.

    “[I]t would logically spell financial ruin for the businesses near the current Boise Hawks field on Glenwood.” You can’t be serious. Do you really think D&B supply, Fred Meyer, a Concert House and the Fairgrounds would really be hurt by the hawks leaving? The fact of the matter is that there really are no businesses that are dependent on the stadium. A downtown stadium could support a lot more than the horrible out of the way location in GC.

    EDITOR NOTE–We were attempting a note of sarcasm. If one believes a ballpark will STIMULATE new business, it is logical that old business will SUFFER if the park leaves an area. Point being, the benefits of a new ball park are mostly to the Cubs organization that should pay the bill for a new park if they want it.

  6. I recently went to the Hawks customer appreciation day, was one of several dozen people who seemed to be there. Not sure the hawks is an economic engine worthy of public investment. If private investment thought it was worth it, there would be private funds. Funny how government tends to fund “investments” that professional investors stay away from. Oh yeah, I remember, professionals investors want a return on the investment, government and politicians don’t, they just buy headlines and campaign contributions.

  7. JJ – one of the little known ways to make a lot of money is to get public entities like cities and other government agencies to build something. You then offer to “build it and lease it back”.

    It is an easy way for the government agency to get the facility, look like they have private business involved and then payback a friend.

    Your take on the ball team is correct. they are simply not any more viable tomorrow than they are today. Hard to want to spend millions to benefit a couple thousand fans (nothing against them). Just another trolley to nowhere.

  8. Something smells bad at GBAD.

  9. Stephanie Astorquia is gone from GBAD! Such great news.

    So Chuck now that you’ve completely turned this group on its side, what’s taking you and the boys so long to disband GBAD and eliminate the tax? Whatsamattah? Can’t walk your talk? Or was it really a just a personal vendetta against Bobbie all along?

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