Bass Pro

Craig and the Capitalist Radical have commented here (and elsewhere) that they oppose subsidies to Bass Pro. Great. Because there are no subsidies to Bass Pro. Here's what I posted to freebuffalo's forum in response to Jim O: I wish you'd stop saying there were [subsidies to Bass Pro]. Have you read the MOU? It's on-line. Do you think it wrong for government to build parking garages? Do you think it wrong for government to build train stations or metro stops that converge at the parking garage? Do you think it wrong for government to help pay to rehabilitate government's own mothballed properties? The only thing even remotely approaching a "subsidy" to Bass Pro is the $1.00/year lease (which is $1.00/year more than it's currently earning, by the way). Wouldn't it be more prudent to try to lobby the City to ensure that some sort of ground rent or PILOT payments are made by Bass Pro for the use of the Aud? Probably not, because that sort of thing isn't sound-bite ready. Jim O reveals himself to me to be somewhat of a phony. Before the MOU was released on-line, he said that a "little birdie" told him that Bass Pro's contribution didn't even approach the claimed $57 million. Well, it does. Page 6. We are not handing money to Bass Pro in exchange for nothing. We are not handing money to Bass Pro in exchange for a bait shop, either. We are spending money to improve the surrounding infrastructure to enable Bass Pro to come in and spend $57 million to build a superstore in a building that's been empty for almost 10 years. Bass Pro will also be giving to Buffalo the entire staff of the Great Lakes/Erie Canal Heritage Museum, which is being built by the Federal Government. If you're against government subsidies for museums, then I'm afraid there won't be very many museums at all. People ask why should Dick's or Galyan's be left high and dry in this deal? Because Dick's and Galyans aren't Bass Pro; they aren't nearly the draw that a Bass Pro is. Bass Pro:LL Bean as Dick's:Eddie Bauer. One is a rare tourist attraction; the other is in every mall. Because neither Dick's nor Galyans decided to make a $57 million investment in Buffalo's downtown core. Because Dicks and Galyans haven't made the leap to downtown at all. If Galyans wanted to build a store in the Main Place, it could singlehandedly transform that mall and possibly Main Street. But they didn't take the chance. Finally, again - Bass Pro isn't getting a handout. Period. Show me where they are.

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