Author Topic: Large Venues and Small Business: Why Government makes it Impossible to Coexist  (Read 5102 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Large Venues and Small Business:  Why Government makes it Impossible to Coexist

Over the last 15 years, nearly a billion dollars has been poured into our downtown sports complex, and city leaders have been very quick to point to this as part of downtown’s revitalization.  However, how much of an impact do these multimillion dollar venues really have on Jacksonville’s city core?  Today, takes a look at the different facets of downtown revitalization as it relates to the sports complex.

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I made my complaint
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2007, 07:37:24 AM »
I called Suzanne Jenkins several months ago about this.  Her assistant sent an e-mail to JSO expressing my concerns to the individual responsible for this at JSO.  Needless to say I have heard nothing back from them.  As a resident of Springfield it is impossible to get around after any event at the Stadium, the JSO goes way overboard on this issue.  They need to be corrected and it can only come from the City Council and Mayors office.

Kenny R.

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JSO school of retardation
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 08:23:29 AM »
JSO's traffic management plan is idiotic. They close almost every street downtown and funnel everyone through the select few they left open. Any deviation from the plan and you are met with a snarling, nasty JSO officer telling you to get the hell out of here or else...

Leave the traffic lights on and the streets open... or else.


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Leave the Streets Open!!!
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 08:55:45 AM »
You guys nailed it. I was trying to get food for the family in Riverside Sat night. It took me over an hour to run from Springfield to Riverside (My food was waiting for me at both locations I went to) and back.

The Traffic Light as Union and Broad was Green only for Union St traffice, and the Beaver and Broad intersection was on super slow.

It doesn't help that the vast majority of the people clogging the roads were suburbian morons who have no idea how to drive in the city, and probably would be too afraid to step out of their cars anyway. The fact of th matter is, JSO and the city have so little regard for people who live downtown it is just appaling.

Ryan Lehtonen

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Write about somthing constructive for a change.....
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2007, 01:03:27 PM »
I have been reading this web site for about three months now once in awhile you have some good stuff but most of the time I read articles that sound like you all just want to complain about something.  If we did't have a stadium you would complain about that.  

If you even go to the game you will learn that when it is over you want to go home as fast as possible why? Because it is usually Sunday late in the afternoon and you have to go to work.  In addition you have been tail gating all day and no longer want to sit and drink over priced drink at the landing.  

Please keep writing and posting stuff that is constructive.  Some days you sound like a bunch of cry baby minorities that are looking for something for nothing....


  • The Jaxson
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 01:19:32 PM »
Actually Ryan, what sets this site apart from becoming the outlet for "a bunch of crybaby minorities" is the fact that well laid out solutions accompany the problems that are cited. Downtown suffers from many little problems, not one large problem. These issues need to be addressed in order to make downtown a desirable place to be.

JSO creates a very dangerous situation for people attempting to cross State and Union Streets after a game. If 70,000 football fans that have been "tailgating" all day were directed through your neighborhood, what would you do?


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Ryan Lehtonen
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2007, 01:27:48 PM »
Thanks for posting, but unfortunately you are very wrong and your views are not for everyone else, so speak for yourself. I go to the games and then go to London Bridge or Hooters at the landing, somewhere afterwards to catch some food and maybe a later game. I am far from uncommon as I am usually joined with MANY more people coming from the game. If you are wanting to go home afterwards, by all means, feel free to do so. However, the ones that do not are forced to go to the Ale House or TGIF's or something instead of a downtown business, b/c they are ushered out of the city. I would say the majority (especially when their team, hopefully the Jaguars, win) do go somewhere, if nothing else as celebration. I've went with friends to the above mentioned bars/restaurants in Regency and Orange Park & those places get more packed after the game with several people obviously coming from the game. In fact, if you ask a bartendar or wait staff at a restaurant outside of Jacksonville how much business they get after the game from people coming from the stadium, I would be willing to bet they say quite a bit. People do eat dinner and stuff afterwards and you are very naive to think otherwise.


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Other examples
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2007, 02:47:35 PM »
Ballparks, particularly baseball parks, have recently been a productive contributor toward the revitilzation or re-energizing of existing downtowns.  San Diego's baseball stadium, San Francisco's ballpark, and Denver's basketball and baseball stadiums are excellent recent examples of this.  Rarely does football contribute in this way - the venue is only occupied 10 times per year, plus the occasional concert or special event.

A "sports complex" which is comprised of football and a concert/special events arena - together with an active baseball stadium (such as exists in Jacksonville) creates less synergy than a baseball stadium which is more closely tied associated with the core of urban activity.  The activity for 70-80 days around a ballpark, and the fact that most ballparks have a visual "dialogue" with context and surroundings, can be beneficial.

I can't think of a downtown football stadium in a suburban-oriented metropolitan area which in and of itself is a sustaining energizer to downtown.


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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2007, 03:00:34 PM »
Ryan, it looks like you are the crybaby in this situation, because you completely ignored Dan's comment and continued on your own negative rant about the website. And also notice you said business goes to regency or orange park...we want it downtown, which is the point of the article, and if the road blocks and officers werent there, there would be a heck of a lot more people celebrating downtown instead of just focusing on getting out alive. The article was about how much of a pain it is to do so, and if you had actually read the article as opposed to comments you might have bitten your toungue instead of dealing out your own negativity. This article was for people who care about downtown and our city and helping out small business which you show a heavy disregard for, so please, stop complaining yourself


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A tremendous opportunity was lost when the Baseball Stadium and the Arena were configured to be isolated islands separate from the core of DT.  The entire area should have been designed so that retail, office and residential uses where incorporated into the Sports district.   Eventually as the Shipyards  and the St. James tower develop, it might get there to some degree, but it could have been that way from the beginnning.    The Old St. Luke's hospital and site should be converted in a mixed use complex.  Residential with restaurants that serve the residents plus the sports crowds.      
"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln


  • The Jaxson
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2007, 07:10:48 PM »
What a concept, Vicupstate.  It's as old as St. Augustine, but locally we're still struggling how to embrace it.  Maybe it's time to simply the political planning process and concentrate on the little things that promote urban connectivity as opposed to spending valuable resources, money and time, trying to figure out how to convert Friendship Fountain into a Kiddie Pool and turning downtown into landscape of poorly planned passive parks and open space.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Charles Hunter

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What do others do?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2007, 09:48:10 AM »
How do other NFL cities, with a stadium near downtown, handle post-game traffic?  Maybe a field trip to several NFL venues is in order.


  • The Jaxson
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The meeting is about the traffic plans that JSO and our city has for after big events at the sports and entertainment complex. Basically if you haven't been to a truck pull or jags game, Adams, Bay, and State Street are all lanes West bound so that you can't help but getting on 95 smoovely. Oh and you can't turn off any of them either, possibly to get a beer or burrito or shooter or whatever. In addition to that you can't cross any of these either. If they are not roadblocked, manned by JSO (who will not let you through, end of story), then the lights are blinking and with four lanes of traffic going one way for 60,000 plus, its as good as blocked off.


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Downtown businesses, JSO hash out event traffic


by David Ball

Staff Writer

A handful of Downtown business owners gathered at Burrito Gallery Monday for a meeting with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, JTA and other City officials on how to ease traffic problems associated with football games at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

The meeting, hosted by Downtown Vision Inc., ended with traffic officials considering new approaches to parking policies, and business owners looking to be better informed on those policies and to convey them to patrons.

“I’ve heard that people can not get to their front door during a Jaguar game,” said Amy Harrell, director of improvement district services for DVI. “But at the same time, when you have fifty- or sixty-thousand people flooding Downtown, we want to encourage a compromise.”

One of the top issues was the placement of bags over parking meters on streets in order to add two more traffic lanes for people leaving Downtown after a game.

Mark Hemphill, owner of Mark’s and The Dive Bar on Bay Street, said the bagging happens too soon before an event and scares away customers.

“I thought it was overly premature, to put it politely,” he said, noting the bags were placed on Bay Street meters on Friday evening before the Saturday Florida State/Alabama game two weeks ago.

Sgt. Leonard Propper with JSO special events and Director A.L. Kelly of patrol and enforcement said problems could arise when meters are bagged in the morning and cars are parked there from the night before. The cars would then be in violation and would have to be towed.

“It could be a double-edged sword,” said Kelly. “They are going to come to your business and say, ‘I was towed after coming to your restaurant.’”

Propper said that although bags are placed the night before, parking is never really enforced until the day of the event. Business owners said they weren’t aware of that policy.

However, Propper said he would attempt to place the bags over the meters at 5 a.m. on the day of the next big event, which is the Oct. 22 Monday Night Football game when the Jaguars host the Indianapolis Colts.

“We can find out if it helps,” said Propper. “But I still need 45 minutes to get the majority of people (at the stadium) that’s going home, home.”

Harrell asked the JSO and JTA to notify her when such meter enforcement was occurring, and then DVI could spread the word to business owners and use Downtown Ambassadors to inform the public.

Propper said he might not be able to give much warning in some instances, such as with the upcoming filming of the HBO movie “Recount” in Jacksonville.

“It’s our job to accommodate them a little bit,” said Propper, citing the economic impact filming adds to the city. “We inconvenience ya’ll, but they are all going to come to you to eat.”

The group discussed the possibility of adding permanent signs to the meters that spell out the parking rules and times when a bag is placed.

“We’re all for it,” said Kelly. “It saves my guys a lot of time.”

The group agreed that much of the frustration is likely to subside if plans to create more two-way streets in Downtown become a reality.

In the plan, Pearl Street changes from one-way south to two-way from Forsyth to Ashley; Julia Street reverses from north to south from Bay to Beaver and from one-way north to two-way from Beaver to Union; Laura Street changes from one-way south to two-way from Independent Drive to Monroe; Independent Drive changes from one-way east to two-way from Laura to Newnan: and Bay Street changes from one-way west to two-way from Ocean to Newnan.

David Hahn, from the City’s Engineering Department, said designs are still two months from completion, and construction should begin at the earliest by spring 2008.

“The two-lanes will be great,” said Tony Allegretti, one of the Burrito Gallery owners. “The fact that there’s stuff to do on the weekends Downtown is a little bit of a new phenomenon. They do such a great job of getting people out after a game, we just need to coordinate a little.”
Springfield since 1998

big ben

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i'm a little confused.  how does the two-way street help businesses and/or getting people out of downtown after events?