Aces refinancing deal raises questions about the future of downtown businesses

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Updated: 12/03/2012 5:50 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & -- The $30 million Aces ballpark refinancing deal is scheduled to be back on the Reno City Council agenda next week. It's raising questions about whether the Aces will stay in Reno if the deal is taken off the table. One local business owner says if the Aces leave downtown, he'll follow.

"We thought it would be a great location next to a baseball stadium and I still think it is," said Co-owner of Silver Peak restaurants David Silverman.

But that's only with the Aces next door. Silvermans says they never would have opened Slice of the Peak downtown if the ballpark wasn't across the street. If the Aces leave, Slice probably will too.

"The amount of traffic we get in the off season is definitely less than the traffic we get during game days," Silverman said. "So if there's no baseball team over there, there's not going to be business for us."

Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger says he understands why Silverman might make that decision.

"That's an area that if you look at it before the baseball stadium was there, I mean, it was really a blighted area," Clinger said.

Silverman expressed his concerns at the city council special meeting last week.

"I encouraged them to consider what needs to be done to work it out - not at all costs, but to make the deal happen," Silverman said. "The consequences of not having the team there and of having the empty stadium are great."

Especially when that team just won a national championship title.

But Silverman says it's not just about the All-American pastime.
"I think it's bigger than just baseball," Silverman said.

It's about the local community.

"It gives the city of Reno national recognition," Clinger said. "It's just like when the Apple deal was announced. That really becomes international news and, again, it puts the spotlight on the city of Reno in a very positive way.

"The city council is going to be making a very important decision," Silverman said. "I hope they make the one that's in the best interest of everyone."

That decision could be made as early as next Wednesday.
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Paladin - 12/5/2012 10:26 AM
0 Votes
Maybe they (the business owners and the city) need to look at other uses for the park in the off season to help pay off the note and keep it in the black. What could you use the park for in the fall and winter that would generate revenue? We could make it an ice skating rink. WOW that would be one big rink!

FoolontheHill - 12/4/2012 7:24 PM
0 Votes
So, now I have to attend all the Ballgames, too, besides paying taxes? I have no problem with subsidies to redevelop the downtown. I've been to many cities that have done that successfully. I've been to the Ballpark and it is wonderful but I do not believe that a baseball team, major or minor, is a good public investment and, as I said, that is based upon all the analyses that I've seen that say the cost is more than the reurn.

Paladin - 12/4/2012 8:45 AM
0 Votes
Most cities that try to revitilize their old rundown downtown cores by creating "Haymarket" districts, subsidize most of the businesses, construction costs and start up. Its the idea of spending a nickel to make a dime. I don't think the subsidy is a bad thing as long as they have looked at the numbers and believe it is worth the long term investment. Personally, I feel every baseball fan should be in that park, filling it to capacity. We have the best AAA baseball team in the country. That is saying A LOT! WE have a hall of fame caliber manager in Butler and one of the newest and nicest parks in AAA baseball. If we support it then the city's investment will pay off in the long run and we will have the opportunity to see some great baseball.

Paladin - 12/4/2012 8:27 AM
0 Votes
It needs to come down to the bottom line, financially. Do the ballpark and the games in the summer provide the incentive for the locals and the public to patronize the other businesses downtown; restaurants, sports bars, casinos etc? Without the ballpark would we lose all those businesses and return to a blighted downtown corridor? Our downtown core cannot survive solely on gaming like it did in the 80s and 90s. We must have a more diverse draw to want people to come to Reno and to come downtown. The question for the city counsel is; are the Aces and the ballpark a big part of that and is it worth it to subsidize their operation to insure their success and ultimately downtown Reno's success?

FoolontheHill - 12/4/2012 8:00 AM
0 Votes
So, us taxpayers must subsidize Mr. Silverman's business? That talk about the Baseball Team putting Reno on the map has been used to promote EVERY publicly funded stadium and all the economic analyses I've ever seen say that it is Bushwa. For one thing, what about all the n ights that there are no games? It seems the same interests that saddled us with the costs of a Bowling Stadium and Train trench 50 years too late have stuck as with another costly deal that makes no economic sense.

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