January 26, 2007

More taxes?

Well it looks like the city of Rockford and Mayor Larry Morrisey have their wish, to own a hockey team. The county board voted on the issue last night and approved to not only allow the city to own a team, but to help provide funding for the upgrade of the Metrocentre.

After months of about-faces, the Winnebago County Board voted Thursday to allow public ownership of the Rockford IceHogs and contribute $9 million to the renovation of the MetroCentre.

Folks, I’m still not convinced this is a good idea. If it was a “no brainer” as the Mayor called it, then why do no other cities own a sports franchise? Something about this whole deal smells foul to me. Currently the Rockford IceHogs are a UHL team; they are in the black and have a pretty decent fan base. I think average attendance of around 3,600, I maybe wrong on that. Sure they are operating in the black right now, but here’s some things to think about.

With a move from the UHL to the AHL, they are moving up in leagues. That means the players need to be paid more. Through this whole thing, they kept telling fans that the ticket prices aren’t going to increase. If the ticket price isn’t going to increase, then how are they planning on paying the extra wages and still operate in the black? If the books are in the red, who is going to have to pay that difference? I don’t know that answer to the first question, but I’m pretty sure the answer to the second will be, “The tax payers”. IE increased taxes, or decreased public functions to pay the deficit. Maybe the Mayor, since this was his idea, will foot the bill out of his pocket?

This while situation has disaster written all over it in my book.

Posted by Contagion in General at January 26, 2007 07:10 PM | TrackBack

I just saw the headline when I was down at the gas station. I'm with you - doesn't bode well at all.....

Posted by: Tammi at January 26, 2007 08:12 PM