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There's another LVEC Report from Staff in this week's Council package.
This isn't the first time we read in a report from City Staff that private-sector LVEC fundraising is apparently close to the 90% mark. That's because the contributions from the Downtown Kingston BIA and the Kingston Accommodation Partners are presented (and lauded) by City Staff at full face-value even though these contributors have, in fact, paid next-to-nothing so far for the LVEC even though the building is fully built.
For example, here's a link to the May 20 2006 agreement between The City of Kingston and Kingston Accommodation Partners for $3M in LVEC funding. The agreement covers a period of 40-years (!) with KAP paying absolutely nothing up-front. In fact, it amounts to Kingston Taxpayers shouldering an unsecured 40-year loan on behalf of KAP.
KAP Payments so far: $38,620 in principal, and $360,932 in interest.
Understand that $38,620 is just 1.29% of $3 Million. KAP still owes over $2.96 million, and that's completely unsecured.
Also, understand this about KAP:
Yet City Staff presents this at full face-value when, evaluated objectively in financial securities' terms, it's probably below "junk" status except that, with a junk bond, you get a premium interest rate, which isn't what taxpayers are getting here.
It's certainly obnoxious that Kingston's hotelliers are constantly given credit for $3M for the LVEC when, in fact, they've paid just 1.29% of that so far even though the building is already built.
We emphasise: KAP contributed no money up-front, and the agreement KAP negotiated for itself using its systemic political-insider status puts NONE of the LVEC's financial risk on KAP. Kingston taxpayers don't even get a premium for shouldering all the risk on KAP's $3M promise.
It's basically a similar story with the Downtown Kingston BIA:
So in reality LVEC fundraising is nowhere near "the $8M goal outlined in the financing portion of the (LVEC) business plan". Sub-junk grade securities are being presented at full-face value to Council by City Staff grown accustomed to developing and reporting without oversight or consequence to docile Councils.
Despite the clear mandate granted at the November 2006 municipal election, this council has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to remedy the LVEC's financial risk profile, and has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to sanction Staff for these blatant face-value misrepresentations of the LVEC to the citizens of Kingston. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Deri (Frederick) Fairman, Professor Emeritus at Queen's University, co-founder of Citizens for Responsible Development in Kingston, and a pioneer in using of the internet for protest movements in Kingston, passed away on February 26th. He was 72-years old.
Apparently Engelbert Humperdinck's people aren't quite sure which arena in Kingston he's supposed to be playing, what it's called, or where it's located.
It's a good thing Kingston has professionals like Arcturus SMG managing, booking, and promoting the LVEC / K-Rock Centre.
There are still many notable names AWOL from the LVEC's fundraising donor list, and several of those listed, including hockey team owners, parking lot owners, hotel owners, and some restaurant and bar operators are apparently in for peanuts relative to the taxpayer subsidy of their businesses that the LVEC represents.
The fundraising campaign is still over $800,000 short of its wholly unspectacular nominal target.
What does this mean, in practical terms?
Total number of K-Rock Centre concerts in its first two full-months of operation whose artists grew-up outside a 40 km radius of Kingston: 0.
So much for all the great acts passing-us-by on the 401.
Apparently those who bought tickets online are on-the-hook for the service charges. That will go-over well.
Back in December 2006, KCAL issued a news item titled LVEC red-flag: The LVEC / KRSEC brand in peril about how Mayor Harvey Rosen had completely screwed-up the building's image long before it opened.
The Mayor recently had the temerity to publicly blame the LVEC's marketing woes on the Kingston Frontenacs, which tells us plenty about what kind of person the Mayor is.
The non-refundable service charges for cancelled events just makes marketing the K-Rock Centre harder because it frustrates many of the building's few remaining believers. How dumb is that?
We've just updated the KCAL page on Flickr with photos of the trucks from Disney's High School Musical festooning the streets all around the LVEC.
We've also preserved screen-shots of various LVEC-related websites on Flickr so we can compare, in the future, what City Staff were saying in the light of what the LVEC is actually turning out to be. KCAL's home page is included in this set of screen captures.
KCAL's page on Flickr is a good place to look if, for whatever reason, you need LVEC-related photos and diagrams.
On March 3rd 2008, CKWS-TV news broadcast this news item (transcript) that claims:
... HOCKEY FANS APPEAR TO BE FILLING THE SEATS.
THE O-H-L TEAM SOLD JUST OVER 4-THOUSAND TICKETS FOR BOTH HOME GAMES, ON FRIDAY AND SUNDAY, AT THE DOWNTOWN KINGSTON SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE.
IT'S AN ENCOURAGING SIGN -- SINCE THE TEAM LIKELY WON'T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR, AND THE CITY IS COUNTING ON HOCKEY GAME REVENUES TO HELP PAY DOWN THE ARENA'S DEBT.
"WE ARE OVER 17 THOUSAND FANS IN 4 HOME GAMES.
But everyone tuning-in on COGECO-TV 13 could clearly see the sea of empty seats for both those home games.
It's one thing to parrot a number of tickets distributed or sold, a number supplied by the Kingston Frontenacs. It's quite another to mislead the public into believing there was anywhere close to that number actually in attendance, or that money is flowing-in from ticket sales. It's tickets sold and bums-in-seats that generate the revenues that are critical to the LVEC business plan.
Here's what a long-time season-ticket holder had to say about Friday night's game:
When the attendance was announced everyone laughed and started to look around.
I know that the 8 guys sitting in front of me didn't pay for their tickets, they made it clear "no we didn't pay for these."
My niece and her husband and the 4 that were with them also got free tickets they were at Fanatics (old Shoeless Joes) eating supper and were offered them, PLUS tickets for Sunday.
Now they are advertising buy a ticket for Sunday and get the rescheduled Oshawa game for half price.
Makes you feel good for those that actually paid to get in.
CKWS-TV should be ashamed. They are not alone; CFLY-FM has been parotting the same thing on-air.
Related: Julie Brown: powder puff.
No surprise here. The westsport blog reports on the awful state of affairs outside the LVEC yesterday.
Yesterday, there were 7 trailers parked on the streets around the LVEC, either unhitched or waiting (idling) with their tractors. Unhitched trailers were/are in the on-street spots on Place d' Armes at the corner of Wellington, on both sides of King Street between Queen and Barrack, on Barrack Street in front of the Food Basics, across the main Barrack Street doors of the LVEC, on the north side of the facility (where the team buses have been idling for extended periods of time).
To access the building's unloading area, these 18 wheelers drive into the stub of King Street north of Place d'Armes; they idle there till a worker comes from the lvec to "direct" them as they back into the building. As they back into the building, traffic coming off the Causeway piles up past Fort Frontenac toward the bridge.
That's only one snippet. Read the whole thing.
Updated:: CKWS-TV News covered the story.
Here's a show that won't "pass-us-by" on the 401. The Impact World Tour is booked into the LVEC for 4-nights in early April for 4 free shows.
Here's a link to the Impact World Tour media release.
All of the IWT teams are made up of volunteer Christian performers from across the world, sharing a positive message of hope and destiny with their audiences.
Teams will also be going into schools and detention centres to challenge young people with their anti-drug and alcohol messages and encouraging them to live their lives to their full potential.
Hands-up if you think Kingston will be getting the $2 per ticket which it is due under the LVEC's business plan.
The Frontenacs marketing problems have been evident for years and the Mayor was fully aware of them.
The LVEC's so-called "process" systematically ignored this risk.
How obvious was this? Prior to the closing game at the Memorial Centre, the Frontenacs had sold-out just one game in seven years.
Here are links to stories from the past week.