Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Allentown Keeps You in the Loop on That Hockey Arena ... Really!

Now that the horse has left the barn, Allentown will host three open houses tonight, tomorrow and Thursday on its hockey arena. Though there will be no formal presentation, all kinds of experts will be on hand to explain everything. Engineers, geologists, astrologers, shaolins, carnies - you name it, they'll all be there.

Tuesday, November 29 (6-8 p.m.)

Allentown Central Catholic High School - Auditorium
301 N. 4th Street
Free Parking at bottom of Chew Street (Be sure to wear a bulletproof vest)

Wednesday, November 30 (6-8 p.m.)

Scottish Rite Cathedral – Moulson Room
1533 Hamilton Street
Parking available on premises (Be on the lookout for Republicans)

Thursday, December 1 (6-8 p.m.)

Dieruff High School – Cafeteria
815 N. Irving Street
Parking lot in back of school - off of Jerome Street (They will also be accepting recruits for next year's football team).

According to Sara Hailstone, the "City of Allentown remains committed to keeping the dialogue open and updating you as the arena project moves forward." Just what I'd expect from a City Without Limits, Golly, gee!


Bill Coker said...

The hockey arena area is probably the worst choice possible by Allentown. Parking will be in expensive garages only, traffic in and out will be horrific, the area is a shooting gallery, and drugs are rampart.

What an ideal spot.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the arena in Allentown. I can think of ten better and more convenient locations, but as a fan I am glad its coming.

The biggest problem with the arena is getting out of Allentown after a game, if you are heading east. You must cross the Lehigh river. Good luck with that.

Hamilton Street bridge will be jammed. Getting to and crossing the Union Blvd bridge is a nightmare.

So until the American parkway bridge is built, going and coming from Bethlehem and other points east will be hellish. Heading west is about the only multiple route option.

Sorry guys, not dumping on dirt and crime but the traffic issues will be a nightmare, at least until the Parkway bridge is built.

Anonymous said...

We need these jobs and this tool to revitalize a shithole of a section of allentown. stop crying and build the damn thing already

Anonymous said...

The arena project in Allentown will be the best thing that's happened to the Lehigh Valley in a long time.

Kudos for all those getting it done.

Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, not dumping on dirt and crime but the traffic issues will be a nightmare, at least until the Parkway bridge is built.

Yes, I agree. It will be bad for 30 minutes or so after an event. I plan on just hanging out and letting the masses clear out a bit before leaving. I suspect that's what the city wants you to do anyway.

Anonymous said...

I agree, we should move forward with this project right away. If we don't do it right away bad things will happen, everyone knows that.

Allentown Democrat Voter

Anonymous said...

The Arena should be next to Coca Cola Park. Philly did it right!

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

The scary part for Allentown citizens is this. They've never been presented with DOWNSIDE "what ifs."

For example, what if the arena is used for the hockey season, but little else? Or, what are the daily carrying costs for nights when the building is empty?

Should the Phantoms go bankrupt, how likely is another AHL franchise moving in?

This project is NOT a very liquid asset. It is what it is. The life span of these places is about 30 years. Is that enough time to erase the debt and provide a worthwhile profit?

Then there's the issue of parking. The plan relies heavily on the popularity of decks. That might be a tough sell. Everyone waiting for elevators, trudging up steps, idling for 20 minutes after a difficult back-up attempt will wear thin for many people. How many alternate surface spaces are available within 2-3 blocks? Is it enough?

In other words, if some/all the positive assumptions come up short, what financial burden is carried forth, and by whom?

It would have been nice to read an honest analysis of the Reading and Wilkes-Barre experience beforehand.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck to Allentown. This project will immediately improve this section, but not certain about success spreading outward like ripples on a pond.

The future?

What do Veterans' Stadium, The Spectrum, the Astro (8th Wonder) Dome, the first two Madison Square Gardens, Meadowlands Stadium, Texas Stadium and literally scores of other sporting venues have in common?

They're gone. Generally after 30 or 35 years. They are gone. Victims to demographics, changing politics, shifting loyalties and the uncertainty of sports.

But good luck anyway.


Bernie O'Hare said...

That's a very good point, VOR. Had not really thought of that, but you're basically right. What will it be like 50 years from now? Now, all those stadiums you mention are gone, but there are a few old baseball stadiums that have endured over time. The baseball stadium at Reading, which is beautiful, is one such place. Will a hockey arena last like that? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

The Spectrum was "state-of-the-art" when constructed in 1966. It seated 18,000 and had all of the amenities lacking in areanas like the Palestra, Convention Hall, and the old "Arena". It had plenty of restrooms, a wide concourse and more exits. Mostly it had a location to die for. End of the Broad Street subway line. Near downtown, but not in it. Lots of surface parking. Convenient for all including Jersey and Delaware. In spite of all that it had going for it, within twenty years, it was old and behind the times. No matter how state-of-the -art this palace appears, it WILL become outdated. The lack of luxury boxes comes quickly to mind. Does the A-Town arena have any of the other advantages the old Spectrum had?

Remember that they rebuilt the replacement arena right there where the Spectrum once stood. Location, location...

We may not see it but there will come a time when the 7th Street auditorium will seem dowdy, behind the times, no longer "state-of-the-art". Then, there will be a decsion to be made by a future leader. My only point being that if there is any benefit to this project (IF), it will be immediate and possibly short-lived. Hope I am wrong....


Anonymous said...

In thirty years it will house the "Fried Chickens". Allentown's entry into the professional cock fighting league.

It can also host the Hispanic world games and the lowrider culture club.

Bill Coker said...

Anyone attending the State Theatre in Easton and parking in the garage can tell horror stories of 45 minute exits from the garage. This is from a 1500 capacity venue with many wiser people parking on street. Allentown will be rediculous when added to the 7th Street or Hamilton/Hanover exit to go east.

Anonymous said...

My error....should be ridiculous. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

To adress some points:

1. The arena will have no problem whatsoever booking artists. The Lehigh Valley is nearly one million people and is much more attractive than Reading or WB. We just need a venue. One needs only to look at the overwhelming success of IronPigs, Sands, Artsquest, etc. People want entertainment and it's about time the LV crawls out from under the past.

2. Parking is a non-issue. One poster describes "the horror" of a 45 minute wait. What a joke. Seriously? Yes, there may be a wait. It's not the end of the world. THere are TONS more people at Musikfest and everyone manages to find parking just fine.

3. The long term viability. Of course the arena won't be there in 35 years. We'll have jet packs in 35 years. Instead, there will be a new facility, maybe in the same spot. By that time, the current arena will have paid for itself ten times over.

Enough with the hand wringing.

Bill Coker said...

anon 9:04

9:04 Annon
Frankly you're out of your mind. You really wouldn't mind waiting in line 45 minutes to an hour getting out of a parking garage to face a 30 to 45 minute ride home?You are a better man than me.

You can't have entertainment every night, how about the off nights.
Back to the shooting gallery.

How many big name events can people afford a year even if they come? They don't come cheap.

Bill Coker said...

9:04 annon

How many musicfrest goers park in a garage?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"2. Parking is a non-issue. One poster describes "the horror" of a 45 minute wait. What a joke. Seriously? Yes, there may be a wait. It's not the end of the world. THere are TONS more people at Musikfest and everyone manages to find parking just fine."

Musikfest is an annual event and all parking is carefully orchestrated. There are remote parking zones and shuttles to and from. Apples to oranges...

Again, I hope it works for Allentown and I get the fact that the city is desperate to revive the downtown. At this point, anything is better than nothing seems to be the anthem of the supporters. Those against the arena are not necessarily anti-Allentown , but rather anti-secret planning, anti-tax-breaks for rich folks and saddened by the lack of concern by those in power to the plight of the business people displaced by this plan.

Maybe it will work...


Anonymous said...

Bill Coker 12:49 - I assume you have never attended a Phillies, Eagles, or Flyers game? You're tortuous wait would be a dream coming out of one those venues.

It's just more complaining, more backwards thinking, that prevents the Lehigh Valley from truly becoming what it is capable of becoming - a place where people want to go and live.

Anonymous said...

VOR 8:43 - Hogwash. Most Musikfest people simply park on the streets or pay $5 to park in a private lot. Carefully orchestrated? Sure, they have two shuttle lots. Big deal. I can tell you one thing, when I attend Phantoms games, I'm not parking in a deck. Get there early is my motto.

Anonymous said...

I guess time will tell if parking will or will not be a problem, along with access.

By comparing an event center to an annual event you are conveniently missing a few points, which is fine since the goal of most arena supporters appears to be "pound square peg into round hole".

Musikfest-goers do not all leave at exactly the same time, as is the case of an event taking place in a gym. Musikfest-goers disperse at differnt times, from different areas to various parking areas. Musikfest parking options are quite a bit more varied and tasteful as opposed to the options for downtown Allentown. You'd do well to compare the proposed arena with a downtown arena in a third-class eastern PA city.


Anonymous said...

I don't reside in Allentown, but I wish the city well. I won't presume to speak for arena foes here, but besides parking and traffic issues, displacement of businesses, the lack of transparancy in the lead up and the fact that this is being built (literally) on shaky ground, may I proceed to produce a few facts concerning a rather important reality about the location? This data from citydata.com and it compares two cities since 2008 on certain street crimes:

Rb M Ra As AT
Allentown 1431 38 172 645 1280

Bethlehem 313 1 46 318 364

Key: Rb-Robbery M- Murder Ra-Rape As- Assault AT- Auto Theft

As many have said, this is possibly not an ideal location...