April 13, 2006

The Swing owners stiff Davenport, face stadium closure

In what is an all too familiar story, a local government was convinced to spend millions to help out a private company and now the company isn't living up to their end of the deal.

Davenport shouldn't really be that surprised as it seems to happen more often than not.

From QC Online:
The city notified Swing of the Quad Cities owners Seventh Inning Stretch Wednesday they have 20 days to pay the more than $400,000 they owe Davenport, or risk losing their stadium lease.

Seventh Inning Stretch's 15-year lease for John O'Donnell Stadium includes a clause allowing the lease to be canceled "upon default of payment of rental or contribution to the stadium renovation or upon any other default of leasee."
"The city has held their end of the lease," Mr. Malin said. "We expect the team to honor their obligations under the lease."

Last week, the city council narrowly rejected a plan to lock John O'Donnell Stadium until Mr. Krause paid the money. The vote failed with Mayor Winborn breaking the tie, but Mr. Malin said "this notification would permit the city to do that."
Seventh Inning Stretch owes the city $415,241.25 for renovations made to the stadium, including $197,117.50 for building the luxury suites and $218,123.75 the city paid to help cover construction cost overruns.

Under the lease terms, Seventh Inning Stretch is supposed to pay $150,000 and one-third of the architectural, planning, engineering, or related consulting fees every year -- or $197,117.50 this year.

Since work on the suites totaled $1.63 million, $125,000 more than the original estimates, the city wants Seventh Inning Stretch to pay more than the initially agreed $150,000 a year.

A copy of the notice also says the ownership group owes Davenport an attendance increase. According to the lease and Ms. Thee, Davenport was supposed to receive a 2.5 percent dollar increase if the 2005 season attendance exceeded that of the pre-renovations 2003 season.
Mr. Krause has argued that he has paid money toward work on the stadium. During a phone interview Wednesday, Mr. Krause said he invested $1 million of his own money for electrical and plumbing work for the concession stands and $700,000 for concession equipment during the renovations.

He has paid the rent and had made renovation payments last year, Mr. Malin said.


At 4/16/2006 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have watched this time and again in my over 50 years living in the QC. Every few years some snake oil salesman comes along and "takes" the tax payers of Davenport and the city council to the cleaners. I'm happy NOT to live in Davenport!

At 4/18/2006 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin, Can you say KerMcgee?


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