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September 15, 2010


What would you like to see on an arena website?

by Deena Winter

So I get this phone call from a guy named Eric Dinger, CEO of a marketing company called the Thought District. He says his company was selected to create a website for Lincoln’s arena project and he’s looking for ideas as to what should be on the website.
I told him I’d expect to see a listing of all the RFPs (requests for bidders or proposals for arena work), all the winning contractors and contracts, a timeline of arena construction that shows whether it’s on time and some way of measuring whether and how the project is on budget.
What would you like to see?

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Roger Yant
    Sep 15 2010

    Deena, keep up the good work. What we need to see, not like the Antelope Valley project is where every dime goes. I’m afraid that they are going to hide to protect their cronies and friends who are going to be doing lots of the work. Thanks, Roger

  2. ej
    Sep 15 2010

    I want to see updated designs as that work progresses. I want to see design updates for the entire development. I would think that web cams and/or regular photo updates during construction would be appropriate. Since I work in the Haymarket, updates on road construction/closings would be helpful. Very excited to see this thing get rolling.

  3. MB-S
    Sep 15 2010

    I have always admired your courage to seek answers for the questions that are being asked of one another in every barber/salon in the city. You give us straight answers. Thanks and keep up the good work.
    I agree, we need all the rfp’s, contracts, timelines and budgets down to the last dime for the arena.
    Cronyism lives at city hall, now more than ever!! Please keep us informed of the expected mayoral connection when the contract is awarded, and please continue to request complete and accurate information.

  4. scottw
    Sep 15 2010

    Good questions.
    I would like to see the contracts for professional services, especially legal, and the agreements with the private developers involved in the project.

    We should also have access to the environmental agreements reached with the Nebraska DEQ.

    Dan Marvin had a power-point slide showing the arena construction timetable.
    It should be on the website.

  5. Sep 15 2010

    ScottW — Actually, that $75 million wasn’t for naming rights. That’s the portion of the arena costs ISG would have basically financed for the city, in exchange for the right to sell all the stuff CSL just won, including naming rights, but all those other things I mentioned in the post, too. Just to clarify.

  6. Ed Patterson
    Sep 16 2010

    • The RFPs, and documentation of the responsive bids on them, are a good start in monitoring due diligence in administration of the taxpayers’ money. But realistically, the work description contained in the RFP means nothing without access to a set of plans and specifications from which to do a ‘take-off’, and even with this access, very few members of the public will have the time to do even a rough estimate of materials and labor requirements, then price them out with various wholesale providers of materials and components.

    Time was when that necessarily would have been the end of the story, because a hardcopy set of blueprints for a job like this might have been a hundred desk sized sheets long, with expensive controlled version copies going out only to registered recipients. It is now however possible to put Read Only Computer Automated Design (CAD) drawings on a website, accessible via a web browser, password protected at the option of the owner of the plans. With this available, at the very least a subcontractor from say Kansas City, who felt that somebody in Lincoln had gotten a sweet heart deal, could document precisely why this was so.

    For Lincolnites to expect of be protected by the competitive bidding process among subcontractors, even if it involves subcontractors from out of state, is simply not realistic in light of our history. Google for example “Common Wealth Electric.” You will find that they were caught by the Federal Government fixing prices with other subcontractors on a government project, in Louisiana I believe it was.

    • The Site Web Cam idea has a number of interesting potentials.
    Lincoln area political operatives have shown in the past ability to manipulate decision making and regulatory processes of The EPA, Army Corp of Engineers, and Department Transportation, among others. So just exactly what contamination remediation actually gets done on the site (and its adjacent contamination field involved properties) as opposed to what is signed off on and approved, at the state and federal level, would be interesting to watch online. However he who pointh the camera, controlth the reality perceived through the camera. LOL

    Lastly it should be borne in mind that we the taxpayers are holding the bag at this point, and purposely escalating the cost of environmental remediation to prove a earlier assertion would be somewhat counterproductive.

  7. J. Brown
    Sep 16 2010

    What is the final design of the arena ? The cow barn or the ?. What is it going to be of ? Is it a green project? If this is really a city project, then why all the N’s on it?

  8. Sep 17 2010

    J. Brown: We haven’t seen final designs yet. In fact, the city is still negotiating with the architects at DLR on their contract to finish designs. The only images we’ve been given are the ones you saw during the campaign (and in thumbnails on this post). I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be a cow barn though. As for green, I haven’t heard anyone talk about it being green in literally years — I’d bet the cost of going green became problematic. Last time I asked Dan Marvin that, he said the fact that they’re cleaning up a brownfield gives them points, etc. But he didn’t specify any attributes of the buildings that will be green, which made me think they’ve let some of that go. Good question for the mayor.


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