Thursday, December 01, 2005

Orlando Entertainment & Arts Venues

Recently, Bob O'Malley of O'Blog posted some thoughts and questions regarding Orlando's plans for a Performing Arts Center and upgrades to the Orlando Arena. You can see his post and read my response here. I also wanted to point out a very good post by Sun Sports writer Whit Watson on the topic of the Arena.

However, putting aside all talk of economic impact, I have a far more simple reason that I feel strongly about these projects. Down deep I would just love to have access to more arts and entertainment venues, and I believe there are other residents who agree. It is a quality of life issue for me. With that said, I'm tired of hearing loud voices scream the word "boondoggle" and "special interest." I don't see myself as a special interest. I support these projects as a resident.

I support them because I love living in a community that offers venues such as the Downtown Media Arts Center and the Orlando Museum of Art; I love being able to attend events such as Dickens by Candelight and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; and I love knowing that I live in a city that can support a professional sports team. These things make living in Orlando fun and exciting. I know that funding restrictions are a challenge. I accept that. However, much of the money that is being considered doesn't come from residents and yet residents like me would benefit. That seems like a win/win.

For now, I guess I'll just have to be content with my little sounding board here on the web. Others will probably drown me out, but I can sleep easier because I've said my piece on this. Thanks for letting me ramble on...


Anonymous Bob said...

In recent months, I've been to the St. Pete Times Forum (U2 concert) and Raymond James Stadium (UCF vs. USF football game), both in Tampa. Both facilities were top-notch and I would love for Orlando to have similar venues, not to mention the concerts and games they attract. And I think OPAC is important, too. I just don't think we can build all 3, a new football stadium at UCF and a new medical school without a new revenue source. I don't think there is enough TDT to cover these expenses. The folks in Tampa passed a tax referendum for Raymond James. Are Orlando residents willing to do the same?

8:53 AM  
Blogger Trent Flood said...

Thanks for the response. Couple points...I don't believe that the med school or the UCF stadium would pull money from the TDT. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Not sure if current revenue would cover the OPAC, renovated Citrus Bowl and renovated Arena, but know that this is the primary area of concentration right now for smarter minds than mine. I would hope that Orlandoans would see the value of these facilities and would support a tax referendum, but prior experience tells me that this community doesn't typically vote in favor of this kind of forward-thinking approach. As residents we are often a day late and a dollar short, and then love to point fingers.

9:06 AM  

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