Last post-Olympic cash to spent on Richmond Oval

Last post-Olympic cash to spent on Richmond Oval

By Alan Campbell, Richmond NEWS December 17, 2012

There’s a little more than $1 million left in the Richmond oval’s post-Olympic conversion $24 million budget.

And city council made short work Monday – about ten minutes – of approving what to spend the last of the money on.

Expansion of the mezzanine floor ($430,000), retail space ($325,000), new fitness space ($175,000), locker room improvements ($100,000) and children’s play space ($50,000) were approved for a $1,080,000 total.

The mezzanine expansion, to primarily allow more programming to take place, will actually cost $1.78 million, with $1.2 million previously being approved from the oval’s budget and $150,000 from its capital reserve.

Many of the items, according to the staff report, made the project list due to efficiencies found by oval staff on post-Olympic conversions already carried out.

The retail space is long overdue, according to the report, which is expected to add an “important … revenue stream,” as well as promoting oval and city branding.

Apparently, oval members and visitors have been asking for Olympic oval merchandise, such as water bottles, mugs, towels and clothing.

Also, equipment and accessories are much sought after, such as aerobic gear, hockey tape, shampoo and pucks.

The oval’s general manager, John Mills, told council Monday that it’s “highly likely” the retail outlets will be contracted out.

With 75 per cent of oval members having fitness as their top priority, more fitness space is required, with an emphasis on privacy and noise mitigation from other facility user groups.

Creating “executive locker rooms” had originally been suggested as part of the overall oval conversion. However, it was decided that the $100,000 available would be spent on improving the existing locker rooms.

OK…..then what ?
I am not sure how many have heard about the Winchester House, in San Jose ,California. ( I have and actually toured it in person ).
The story is that the House was built by the widow of the founder of Winchester Gun Co. fortune. She feared the “ghosts” of those killed by her husbands products, and felt that the only way to protect herself was the never stop building her home. For years, until she died, she hired workers to add onto the home, with no rhyme nor reason re layout or practicality. EXAMPLE: One will go up a set of stairs and end up at a wall, that’s it.
Now, Richmond can claim a similar fiasco. As I have noted in many posts re: the Oval was imposed on the Richmond citizens in what I would state were sleazy underhanded tactics.
There’s a little more than $1 million left in the Richmond oval’s post-Olympic conversion $24 million budget.
And city council made short work Monday – about ten minutes – of approving what to spend the last of the money on.
I am not sure if this is Richmond taxpayer dollars…..or part of a bigger pot from more Gov’t sources…
Hey its only tax dollars…..and must be spent…right ? 
Personally, I get a little nervous when I read such articles. First concern is that budgets must be spent ? Why? , but its a given in Gov’t.   So, Staff is now paid to draft a Wish List , to find some rat – hole to piss it down.
As I have stated…the legal capacity of the Oval is approx 5,000 people. That works about to be approx. 2.5% of Richmond’s population..or roughly 3 out of every 100. I realize that more than 5,000 people are likely signed up for programs , as the attendance is dynamic and changing at any point in time . However for sake of argument,lets work with the 5,000 figure…. Now, this $1 Million works out to approx. $200 per person in improvements on the pro-rata basis. I say this on the basis that the Oval is quite “exclusive” via being EXCLUSIONARY…structured as a quasi – private club.
There is a point that any normal business assesses return on investment. Will added capital increase profits? Re: the Oval, all I am seeing is the converse….delay delay delay the inevitable. This is nothing more than trying to fool the public that  this certifiable white elephant will pay off…which is IMPOSSIBLE.
My prediction is that within approx. 5 years, the whole fiasco will implode, we will see massive amounts  of red ink, the accountants can no longer fudge numbers.. The Olympics will have been 3 years ago soon. Council has been buying time to cover their asses, and have now run out of cash to do so. I say F*ck them and their ego trips.
As others have suggested, SELL IT or DEMOLISH IT….we Richmond Taxpayers can’t afford it. To keep it will force higher and higher taxes, pure and simple.
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