Well obviously, it's political, right?
But instead of continuing to fight a battle that we have been fighting for a year now-- a battle that has made our entire state look like a bunch of raving morons in the eyes of both conservatives and liberals nationwide, if not worldwide-- a battle that will ultimately be decided in Raleigh or Washington, we here in Greensboro should be looking for lessons learned and what our city can do to insulate ourselves from the lunatics on both sides of the political lines.
The linked article says our local Hooters lost over $60,000 because of the loss of March Madness. I can't deny or verify that but according to the Washington Post:
"At Jake’s Billiards, half a mile from the coliseum, nobody on a recent weekday expected any effect. About seven miles away at the relocated Cooper’s Ale House, a popular place to watch sports, general manager Pat Miller had a different projection.
“We usually see a little bit of a decrease in business when it’s held locally,” he said of the regional, soon adding, “With it not being held in this area, I should see an increase in business just because people would come to the bar” instead of the Coliseum. Any influx of visitors coming from other states, he said, does not offset the loss from locals who choose to watch live rather than on fine bar TVs."
I've long wondered if the claimed positive economic impact of events at the Greensboro Coliseum don't have more of a negative impact on locally owned businesses and put more money in the pockets of out of town chains like Atlanta based, Hooters. Money that leaves Greensboro and never comes back. The Washington Post seems to verify my suspicions.
But more importantly, why are all of our Bunny eggs in only one basket? Why have those who run our city not seen for years how precarious our situation has become. HB 2 is hardly the threat to Greensboro that the loss of the ACC Tournament is and yet when I wrote No One Debates Boeheim, not one single person from the City of Greensboro was able to come up with a single reason why Boeheim is wrong. All they had was rhetoric, fan loyalty, and lame excuses.
Well if HB 2 has taught us anything, it's that rhetoric, fan loyalty, and lame excuses will not save Greensboro from economic ruin. The Greensboro Coliseum and downtown performing arts center could sell out 365 events a year and the rest of the city could still starve to death. Don't believe me? Ford Field in Detroit (Founded just 15 years ago) is currently doing a $100 Million Dollar upgrade while the City of Detroit rots away around it.)
Oh, and by the way, the claim that the Greensboro Coliseum is the largest indoor venue for basketball is a myth, a lie. Ford Field is an indoor venue that seats over 70,000 people for football, games, 80,000 for basketball, and well over 100,000 for concerts. The Greensboro Coliseum seats 22,000.
Greensboro is a tired, scared, and lonely little bunny rabbit fighting against packs of vicious wolves-- sooner or later we get eaten.
Unless we find territory where the wolves don't travel. Unless we stop purring all our bunny eggs in a single basket.
So give this some thought: Instead of wasting our precious time fighting over something of which none of us have any control, why aren't we instead looking for places where the wolves won't consume us? Demand that our local leaders lead locally and stop wasting time fighting battles that can't be won for either side. Demand they stop the political grandstanding and pandering to voters over issues for which they have neither influence nor control. Stop the vulgar dog and pony shows and get back to tending the rabbits.
From here on out, any local leaders who mentions HB 2 should be voted out of office, no matter which side of the issue he or she comes out on. Period. Stop. No exceptions!
Tell them instead, to get back to work and do their jobs!
And please share, the bunny rabbits are counting on you.
Photo credit: The District Table