Uncle KENO stops paying for ballpark


Just a R/T (as it were) of Joe Jordan’s Nebraska Watchdog story on the KENO funds drop. KENO funds, you see, are one of the main money sources for the brand spankin’ new TDAmeritrade Stadium.

(Read the whole thing here.)

Here’s the kicker from Jordan:

City officials predicted that Keno revenue would drop 10% in 2008 and stay flat in 2009.

Instead Keno has struggled more than expected, dropping 14.36% in 2008 and 9.19% in 2009.

And what’s driving the KENO drop? Well, as Jordan points out, Hal Daub, and others, had predicted that the smoking ban would drive patrons away.

Back in February of 2008 Daub told KPTM:

“I think you’ll see some noticeable drop in Keno revenue over the next two or three years. Which in turn impacts any bond that are issued for any rehabilitation or new stadium.”

Carry on, Omaha. Carry on.

36 comments

  1. GeosUser says:

    Thank you Mark "The Smoking Nazi" Welsch, GASP and no smoking do-gooders. So now even more taxpayer money will be required for the white elephant downtown ballpark. And, believe it or not, Welsch is still out there lobbying for banning smoking in private cars, private homes and any place else he can think of.

  2. Nathan says:

    Mark is anti freedom. Why isn't a business owner allowed to run his/her business the way they want? No one was being forced against there will to go into these bars and restaurants.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Problem is, they may be private businesses, but they are subsidized(or used to be)by a government endeavor called gambling to pay for City services, AKA, Keno.

    Many of these small business owners made lot's and lot's of money being in the keno business and also providing alcohol, music and sports programming to their many patrons while many other small business owners were shut out of the expansion by the price tag established by the government. I have no problem with bar owners. I don't even have a problem with smoking in bars-it's not like any one is there for the good of their health anyway. What I have a problem with is that for a very long time, it was extremely expensive for a bar owner to get a Keno license. That created a system where by the price tag put on the license, the City Government sort of picked the winners and losers in the Keno world. This was wrong and the city deserves what it get's for trying to pay for necessary services with unreliable income and then going the extra measure of trying to control people's bad habits by limiting where they can engage in them.

    Maybe this is why Congressman Terry voted against all those Keno licenses while on the Omaha City Council?

  4. Thank you Mike Fahey says:

    $125,000,000 albatros, $400,000,000 pension shortfall, $1,000,000 keno fund loss, getting your name on a Street in NoDo, PRICELESS!!!

    Thank you Omaha Democrats!!!

  5. Ricky says:

    I guess we will have to ask Heritage Services for more millions for the downtown park.
    Keno was also listed as a source of revenue for the Sarpy baseball stadium.
    If you think the finances are messy for downtown; Mark Wayne of Sarpy has yet to spell out how there stadium will be paid for.
    Watch for Senator Ashford of Omaha to lobby the state for more tax help for both stadiums.

    ricky from omaha

  6. Ricky says:

    I guess we will have to ask Heritage Services for more millions for the downtown park.
    Keno was also listed as a source of revenue for the Sarpy baseball stadium.
    If you think the finances are messy for downtown; Mark Wayne of Sarpy has yet to spell out how there stadium will be paid for.
    Watch for Senator Ashford of Omaha to lobby the state for more tax help for both stadiums.

    ricky from omaha

  7. Anonymous says:

    No Mike Fahey took the crappy Hilton instead of the Marriot and refinanced the Qwest Debt with a nasty balloon payment. Gave fahey enough time to elect Suttle and get a street named after him.

  8. Uncle Wiggily says:

    Who's the bimbo in the pic? I'm purty sure I ran into her at Mickey's … back in the 70's.

    She had three shoulders and a glass eye – and drank warm tequila out of a dirty glass.

    Or maybe not … that was a long time ago.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Can't imagine why more people don't play keno – all the excitement of paint drying and eye candy at the bar like that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    There is absolutely no reason why State tax payers should foot the bill for either Stadium. Douglas and Sarpy Counties got themselves into this mess, they should get themselves out of it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Anyone think that maybe the downturn in Keno revenue may also be driven by the economy and not necessarily smoking? Keno is only $2 million of the ballpark financing. If payment was needed today, they would have $1.8 million according to Channel 7. Payments are not due until 2011. Wait to see what happens then and then decide if you need to complain.

  12. Thanks Weatherman says:

    Thank you Weatherman for your comment above. Don't forget your firefighter buddies just took a $2 million cash out of the general fund. Hey I was wondering, has anybody seen Dave Nabity lately? Their group has been strangely quiet. HMMMMMMM.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It's funny that the city of Lincoln only has to pony up $24 million if their bond issue passes in May but the city of Omaha got stuck with a $198 million dollar bill.

  14. macdaddy says:

    Does Daub have a viewpoint on why gambling in Council Bluffs, not affected by the smoking ban, is also down about the same amount as Omaha's Keno revenues? Daub got the trend right but the reason wrong. It's the economy, stupid.

  15. Solomon Kleinsmith says:

    "$125,000,000 albatros, $400,000,000 pension shortfall, $1,000,000 keno fund loss, getting your name on a Street in NoDo, PRICELESS!!!

    Thank you Omaha Democrats!!!"

    You think the pension problem started with Suttle, or even Fahey? I think not. And up until a few months ago, who had a majority in the city council? Yeah, Republicans.

    Only the most blind of partisans would see either party as worthy of wearing the mantle of fiscally responsible. And maybe the reason he saw the problem was because he made the same mistake with the Qwest Center a few years back.

    A pox on both houses.

    I say, if the stadium can't fund itself with current money set aside, private money can fit it. This is an issue everyone can rally around. Not a single penny more of government money to his corrupt farse.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Solomon,

    You are sorely mistaken on the pension. Two Brothers, Mike and John Fahey negotiated the fire contract. For those that don't know John Fahey was the fire union's attorney. The mayor negotiates the contracts and presents them to the council saying it is a good deal. Also Mike Fahey changed the hotel chioice at thew Qwest center and refinanced the bonds on bad terms…..Can you tell me how to get to Fahey Street???

  17. Street of Broken Dreams says:

    Oh someone should ask Fr. Schlegel at Creighton how much money he has targeted the Fahey brothers for the capital campaign???

  18. Anonymous says:

    Would Keno Help?

    CNN poll–Obama Approval

    48% Approve
    50 Disapprove

    7 point drop in approval since last poll–economy cited. Afghanistan will make it worse?

  19. One Out In The Third says:

    Bob…

    I think they doctored the shot showing McCoy's pass hitting the ground and the last two seconds of the time clock…a little DVR magic. This ranks up there with the staged Moon Walk in '69.

    Pelini said it all when he did the wave-off with his hand. Nebraska needs a totally new offense to rise to the powerhouse level.

  20. ohk says:

    Weez got robbed when weez got Bo. Mr. Bobblehead needs to come back to earth, stop chewing his tongue, and hold that head still. Man, he makes me NERVOUS!

  21. Street Sweeper says:

    Here's the Final Word:

    If some offense can be found, the Huskers can be a POWERHOUSE next year… (Even w/o Mr. Suh…)

  22. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I have never understood why taxpayers should have to foot the bill for sports complexes in the first place. If the owners of the teams want to have a venue, let them raise the capital, take the risks, and reap the profits. I'm not much of a sports fan and I wouldn't want my tax dollars being spent on a stadium any more than a right-to-lifer enjoys having their tax dollars go towards funding abortions.

    As for smoking, if it doesn't get you high, what's the point?

  23. One Out In The Third says:

    BTO…

    Ouuuch…OW…Let me climb back into my chair…first time in a while that I agree with you completely. Why does government think they have to be everything to everybody by being an "entertainment provider?"

    Government's role is to provide a basic infrastructure that consists of good roads…good sewers and water…and police and yes…fire protection. A basic swimming pool and a few parks…very few because most Americans do not use parks as they did in the past.

    Ball parks…convention centers…stadiums…water parks should be private entities. If these venues bring money to local businesses…local businesses should be the ones chipping in.

  24. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Yeah, I'm just full of surprises 1/3rd.

    I got a note in the daily missive that my good friend, Nebraska's Cartoonist – Paul Fell, sends out. In it he states:

    "This week, a House Subcommittee could approve legislative markup on forcing a playoff system for the NCAA Divison I Football Bowl Subdivison (aka, FBS, formerly Division I-A). This follows House hearings in May, and Senate Hearings in July on the playoff issue, the latter led by conservative stalwart Sen. Orin Hatch. Sen. Hatch even recently requested a Department of Justice investigation into the BCS on anti-competitive measures."

    Could someone please explain to me what the (blankety-blank) the purpose behind our Federal government wasting time and tax dollars on this topic is? It is a bunch of overgrown high school kids playing a GAME for chrissakes! It is NOT a federal issue! If anyone should be revising the way the BCS standings are figured, it should be left to those who know the most about it … Las Vegas bookies.

  25. Anonymous says:

    He's probably just pissed that BYU can't play for the National Championship.

    Not like it is actually supposed to be about talent and wins or anything.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Getting back to the GASP concept…it has been used before where one person names himself as president of something and tells those in power what a big organization is behind the effort. Why oh why do those decision makers continue to listen to one person like that? Are they all that ignorant? Wait, don't answer that! I think I'll go smoke a cigarette.

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