Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bloomberg: How the Braves fleeced Pearl

Was Pearl yet another city that fell for another pitch of baseball and bright lights only to later regret the decision?  Were then-Mayor Jimmy Foster and his team simply yet another example of bond dummies that break their cities upon the rocks of bad bond deals? Bloomberg News shined a spotlight on how the Atlanta Braves manipulates cities into practically building new stadiums at little cost to the organization.  Only time will tell whether Foster's gamble paid off for Pearl.  Bloomberg reported:


Sometime in 2003, when he was the mayor of Pearl, Miss., Jimmy Foster got a visit from a man he’d never met. The stranger, Tim Bennett, came to City Hall, an old brick schoolhouse on Pearl’s church-lined main street. “He just showed up in my office that day,” says Foster, “and started talking about baseball.” Specifically, Bennett wanted to know if Pearl might be interested in building a stadium for a minor league team.

A ballpark, it turned out, was just the kind of project Foster was looking for. Now 62, with gray hair and a potbelly, Foster, who spent 19 years as a policeman in Pearl before becoming mayor, was desperate to help his hometown shed its reputation as a poor neighbor of Jackson. “There just wasn’t a lot of commercial or retail in town,” he says. “And there wasn’t a lot of money.” The sewers, the streets—it all needed attention. “Having a baseball team in Pearl? That was a pipe dream.”....

(Tim) Bennett caught wind that the Atlanta Braves’ Double-A team in Greenville, S.C., was coming to the end of a 20-year lease and potentially in the market for a new home. He saw an opening. In December 2003, with negotiations inching along in Greenville, he persuaded the Braves to let him pitch them on Pearl, only a 50-minute flight from Atlanta and with a mayor eager to make a deal. The Braves liked what they heard....

Over the last 15 years, the Braves have extracted nearly half a billion in public funds for four new homes, each bigger and more expensive than the last. The crown jewel, backed by $392 million in public funding, is a $722 million, 41,500-seat stadium for the major league club set to open next year in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta. Before Cobb, the Braves built three minor league parks, working their way up the ladder from Single A to Triple A. In every case, they switched cities, pitting their new host against the old during negotiations. They showered attention on local officials unaccustomed to dealing with a big-league franchise and, in the end, left most of the cost on the public ledger....

Not long after Bennett first visited Pearl’s City Hall, Foster brought his baseball dreams to the city’s bond attorney and financial adviser. They told him a standalone stadium wouldn’t pay for itself, no matter how you crunched the numbers. Foster was undeterred. He’d been chatting with Bass Pro Shops, the hunting and outdoor retailer, about opening a store in town. So he went to Bass with the idea of building next door to a new stadium. Bass Pro was interested. Early in 2004, Foster and Bennett worked with Plant, the Braves executive, to outline a plan to bring the team and a Bass Pro Shop to Pearl, with the city issuing bonds to pay for both....

Under Pearl’s stadium agreement, which Foster closed in a marathon phone session with Bennett and Plant just before the announcement, the city would raise $78 million through a series of bonds, with $28 million set aside to pay for the ballpark...

Pearl planned to pay back bondholders through more than a half-dozen revenue streams, including a $1 surcharge on every game ticket and half of the sales tax from the Bass Pro Shop. (Bass didn’t respond to requests for comment.) The city also planned to collect $3 or $4 per car for parking. “That didn’t go over too well,” says Foster. Fans screamed at the parking lot attendants and jumped the fences. So Pearl swapped out the parking money for a new sales tax on a shopping and restaurant district near the ballpark.

Altogether, the taxes and fees were supposed to be more than enough to pay the debt back. But just in case, Pearl pledged to cover as much as $950,000 annually from other sources if money didn’t come in as planned. It hasn’t. In 2014, the most recent year on record, the city paid $911,748, more than 5 percent of its general fund spending for the year, to cover shortfalls. The year before, it paid $967,944. Rogers says he isn’t sure why Pearl paid more than it pledged.....  Read the rest of the article. There is much more to read. 

Kingfish note: JJ interviewed the Mayor for an hour yesterday.  A post about what he had to say will be posted tomorrow or Monday. 

Harvey took a lot of hell for "losing the Braves" to Pearl. Well, look at this deal from his point of view. Dude shows up wanting to bring baseball to Jackson.  Great. Do you have any experience? Nope. Who are you going to bring to Jackson? I dunno.  How do we pay for it? You lend us the money and give away the sales taxes.  Sounds like Harvey did something smart. 

92 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Foster was undeterred." Politicians always are when they're spending someone else's money.

Anonymous said...

If you can't trust people in the bond business, who CAN you trust?

Anonymous said...

This is brutal:

In December, Moody’s Investors Service cut Pearl’s debt rating four notches, to junk status, citing ongoing stadium liabilities. Wall Street sees Pearl about as likely to repay its debts, in other words, as Detroit just before it went bankrupt. With credit this poor, Pearl can’t borrow money to fix a road or build a fire station without paying interest rates that might make a credit card user think twice, assuming it can even find a willing investor. Moody’s also put Pearl on review for further downgrades. When it asked Pearl for details on the stadium deal, the city brushed it off. “Nobody but us needs to understand how this ballpark works,” says Rogers, claiming the downgrade was unwarranted.

Can't wait to see KF's interview with this guy.

Kingfish said...

Yup. I'm going to post it in the next couple of days.

Anonymous said...

In the mean time, lets question the position that Bill Yates (Yates Construction) has in this dog race. If I remember correctly, he was the "actual" owner of the Bass Pro Building and ball park structure, which is why a street is named Gulley Avenue after Bill's dad, whom by the way was an honest and forthright man.

Before you lay ALL of the blame on a mayor who was sweet talked by a certain person or persons who wanted to build all of this, lets see the connection between Tim Bennett, Bass Pro and the Yates Companies!

I'm sure someone will have something to say about this.

Anonymous said...

I live in Jackson, I love the Brave's and their park.

Anonymous said...

Braves will be gone after this year. They have a system. Come to town, run the same old crap for 10 years, offer zero new promotions and when attendance tanks, move. Take the same old manager and show to the next place. They are squeezing pennies this year, the beer is more expensive and the cups are 40% smaller. This is an old movie.

Anonymous said...

Even if the total payoff hasn't arrived an infinitely better bet than anything in downtown Jackson.

Anonymous said...

While I think it's worth noting that before the ballpark, the area around it was pretty marginal. A theatre and a few fast food places. So, while they sold their soul to build the park, it probably did more for the area than any other development plan in the last decade.

That said, the old adage about relationship cheaters applies here, "If he'll cheat with you, he'll cheat on you." What happens when attendance disappears or the Braves want stadium improvements that Pearl can't pay for? They'll move to another city just like when Pearl stole them from their old home.

Anonymous said...

$1 per ticket surcharge for 70 games is significant if people actually attended. Very very poorly run for years. The Mets were way more fun.

Anonymous said...

Poorly run? You don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Your aware that the Yates daughter and son in law that is with Bloomfield that owns the property this trust mark park sits on as well as outlet mall and bass pro shop all live in jackson near JA...

Anonymous said...

In calculating your measure of 'failure' on the part of Pearl, make sure you include all the business development (and the related taxes, jobs, etc) that has come to Pearl, the City, due to the multiple businesses operating along that area that was nothing but swampland and a few trailers before TMark Park.

And, as to the beer prices, ticket prices, etc. Those are not set by the Braves, but by the local ownership. The Braves don't profit from the operation of any of their parks, but use them only for the farm operation. They pay the players, managers, etc. But the attendance, gate receipts, promotions, food revenue, etc are all those of the minor league ownership team.

Anonymous said...

4:33...just show up for a game, its a ghost town.

5:28....the other "business development" is due to tax incentives to build a strip mall of outlet stores because it is now a resort area.

If it is locally owned, the local owner hasn't stepped foot in the place in five years. Its on auto pilot. Employees don't give a damn. The only people that are entertained are the few that have never been before.

Anonymous said...

I actually attended on Monday April 18. 80% of the concessions were closed. The craft beer stand was shut the entire time. As a Braves fan, I wanted to cry. Somebody has already given up on this thing.

Anonymous said...

M-Braves should move to Smith-Wills and find a new parent team.

Anonymous said...

Smith-Wills is a dump.

Anonymous said...

Pearl has more problems than she just this baseball field/team draining money from taxpayers. Mayor Rogers is worried about playing "police" than running the city. It's pitiful how poorly things are being run. Hopefully there will be a new mayor next year.

Anonymous said...

"Your aware that the Yates daughter and son in law that is with Bloomfield that owns the property this trust mark park sits on as well as outlet mall and bass pro shop all live in jackson near JA..." April 30, 2016 at 4:54 PM

Que? Could someone please provide a Niknar-to-English translation?

Note To File (Coded) said...

Didn't get that transfer and promotion, huh, 7:58? With your attitude, you'll languish where you are.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Rogers may not think that the ballpark is anybody's business but I am sure that the city employees that briefly went without health insurance would disagree. The mayor could barely run a mini-storage much less a city.

Anonymous said...

Niknar translation requested . . . laughing out loud !

Anonymous said...

If it were Jackson falling for this shuffle it would be the stupidest, most corrupt, poorly run city in America and deserving of the reputation that follows. But... since it's not Jackson let's just remember that this game is happening in one form or another all over the country. NFL owners live and die by extortion over stadiums, and minor league baseball exists by playing gypsy musical chairs with mid sized communities like Jackson and Pearl that have bond financing available and gullible leadership. So go easy on Pearl. Just remember it's not Jackson.

Anonymous said...

The entire Country (except DC) is in economic depression and what we are seeing in Pearl is just a symptom down the long vein of monetary flow. This is what happens when liberals run things. Notice I didnt say liberal Democrats because there are more than enough liberals trying to disguise themselves as Republicans. Get the government to leave small business alone (Obamacare, EPA and all the legal hoops),lower tax rates, create some incentives for investment. This new normal is killing us all very slowly.

Anonymous said...

5:28...The Braves own and operate everything about the MS Braves including all concessions, ticket sales, player salaries, promotions, etc. There is no local ownership of the baseball operation. The only thing the Braves don't own is the actual bricks and mortar of the Stadium.

5:45...Those are Braves employees under the same GM & front office since day #1.

Also how do you value community pride? Think about it, what would Pearl be today without Trustmark Park, Bass Pro and Outlets of MS? Answer: The same or worse than it was 12 or 13 years ago. I don't live in Pearl but those facilities put the City on the map!

Anonymous said...

I live in Jackson.

I enjoy the Mississippi Braves. But I don't go that often. It isn't the stadium, prices, etc... It's tough getting to Pearl for a 7:00pm game when you have young children. During the school year we have homework. In the summer, the games are brutally hot.

I do think the Braves / Pearl could do a little better job marketing these games.

If you don't follow MLB closely you have no idea who the players in AA ball are. And since the Braves suck this year there aren't many big names that might have rehab assignments in Pearl. It is difficult to get excited about no-name players. Maybe the club could tout some of the prospects a little more.

Sometimes I look around the stadium and daydream about Jackson having a situation like AutoZone park in Memphis. And then I wake up and enjoy the ballgame for what it is.

Respect The Theme said...

What about the Madison Theme Park?

Anonymous said...

12:15 am This is " trickle down" /Voodoo economics. Pearl's mayor's bought into the notion that if he gave a business everything they wanted to come, the revenues and new jobs would trickled down to the other businesses in the area so everyone would make more money and thus pay more taxes. There would therefore be enough new tax revenue to pay the debt. But, if you can't do the math and don't understand finance or economics, you are simply trusting the guys looking for " a finder's fee" or a lucrative deal to provide the information. And, unlike the characters in Ayn Rand's books, that guy is not always an honorable visionary who merely wants to build a better mousetrap. He could be a greedy SOB.

Anonymous said...

12:36: What good does it do to be"on the map" if you are broke. Perhaps Pearl is on the map now but not in a good way.

12:15: The entire country isn't in an economic depression and you can't get more republican than Rankin county.

STEEeeeeee! said...

With the exception of maybe a double handful of regulars who try to attend every game, I doubt one in fifty can name three players on the Braves team at TMark. That's not a slam. It's reality. On the rare occasions when I might brave that hot weather, I go to watch a ball game and 'feel' the game.

I don't care who the players are. It's hard enough to remember the names and mascots of the teams that come into Pearl to play the Braves. Attending a game brings me back to Little League, Pony League and High School baseball.

Anonymous said...

LOL Jackson resident 12:38 enjoys the games, doesn't go often then dogs the franchise for their marketing efforts. Make up your mind.

Anonymous said...

Why would people go to all of the trouble to go to a game in Pearl when they can set comfortably at home and watch a game?
If you want people to go somewhere you have to give them something worth the effort. Watching some grown men you have never heard about play a child's game just doesn't cut it.

Anonymous said...

Pearl will have to increase taxes true....but the money spent moved the needle on Pearl's image.

Before the construction Pearl was a place to buy a mobile home and possibly just live right there on the sales lot!

Crystal meth was what you smelled in the neighborhood kitchens.

Mexican drug lords were the best tenants landlords could get.

And who can forget those "pearl girl" bumper stickers?

Today there is actual commerce. Neighborhoods were constructed. Alchol is served. Schools are better. The image of its incestual trailer park meth parties is a thing of the past.

Meanwhile Jackson leaders, stoked by the idea that Pearl may have suffered a financial blow, have not even a prospect to gloat about...leaving them (and I mean you Melvin Jr) to take pride in anothers possible failure.

If thats what Jackson is relying on for leadership...you better go ahead and order more body bags.

Anonymous said...

"could do a little better job marketing these games."

I don't think that is dogging the franchise. I only hear advertisements on the rare occasion I listen to Z106.7. It is easy to forget they are playing games when you have other things going on.

What I was really getting at is an advertisement on Jackson Jambalaya would be a good move. Maybe an updated schedule. Better than looking at Dilbert.

Anonymous said...

I may be waxing a bit nostalgic here, but the Jackson Mets experience back in the day was so much more fun. Local ownership, easy access, reasonable prices, and a steady stream of excellent baseball talent. Let's Go Mets!

David B. said...

They've revved up a new production run over at the Jackson sour grapes winery.

Pearl has the challenge of paying down some actual revenue producing debt to more manageable levels. Jackson stares at a mountain range of non-producing debt their cratering tax base already can't shoulder that's soon to grow to Himalayan-size relative to ability.

Pearl will find a way to reduce their near-term budgetary pain. Jackson's leadership can't find its way out of a paper lunch bag.

Anonymous said...

#1-Pearl isn't in the center of the metro area. It takes a while to get there from Gluckstadt/Madison. Unless there's a special draw, the paid attendance is going to be low.

#2-In terms of overall numbers, baseball's audience isn't growing. With so many more options, people just dont have hours each day to show up for each and every game.

#3-The Braves aren't exactly doing so hot these days. They aren't packing the house anywhere. They continue to take bad press about moving to the burbs of Atlanta...

#4-the concessions at the park are not tasty. or if someone has found one that's good-please let me know.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing Republican about going into a mountain of debt in order to provide bread and circuses. If not for the government subsidizing this and shopping centers, the metro area would look very different. Even Renaissance said they would not be viable if they didn't receive millions from the State. Mississippi has one of the more socialist approaches to economic development. The only difference is that we don't admit it.

Anonymous said...

Who cares, its Pearl. I would rather live in North Jackson than Pearl.

STEEEeeeeeeee! said...

Baseball games are fun. Get over the negative attitudes. The sound of the organ, even if recorded. the flag and national anthem. The crack of a wooden bat. Hot dogs and ice cold drinks. Popcorn. A spiffy umpire who gets in the face of a belligerent coach. A fly ball that could land on either side of the chalk line. Sliding into second. Sliding into third. Curve balls and submarine pitches. A catcher snapping out of a crouch and pegging second. Kids getting to run the bases. Another hot dog. A break from the reporting of gunshots.

You negative ninnies will never take this away.

From the north side of town said...

2:01... Most certain that Pearl residents are glad you live exactly where you do.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta attendance season-to-date is up 2016 vs 2015. Pearl Braves outdraw former Jackson Mets and current Binghampton Mets.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, all of the public finance experts commenting on this thread are the same people who complain every Thursday that there's nothing to do in the metro during the upcoming weekend.

Anonymous said...

Despite KF's metro best roster of online local advertisers 11:04 must be missing lots of life if they won't go to an event or activity not advertised on JJ.

Then you have the sports entertainment Einstein 11:40 "waxing a bit nostalgic" about the "reasonable prices" of a team that last played here 26 years ago. Take my kids to Trustmark Park and get great seats down the foul lines for $9. That is an equivalent price of a $4.25 seat during the Mets years. Anyone who has been to both fields knows that Landfill Park, er, Smith-Wills doesn't remotely compare to Trustmark Park. Not even close.

Anonymous said...

Pearl will have to increase taxes ...


### Metro Ad Valorem Millage Rates (2013-2014) ###

<<**>> Jackson = 178.80 mils <<**>>

Edwards = 150.33 mils

Clinton = 147.76 mils
Canton = 144.84 mils

Bolton = 139.63 mils
Byram = 137.43 mils
Terry = 131.18 mils

---> AVERAGE = 131.0625 mils <---

Raymond = 128.95 mils
<<**>> Pearl = 128.18 mils <<**>>
Flora = 126.18 mils
Madison = 121.48 mils

Brandon = 118.66 mils
Ridgeland = 112.70 mils
Florence = 112.56 mils

Flowood = 109.66 mils
Richland = 108.66 mils

*INCLUDES City, County & School District

Anonymous said...

2:49 So your answer to raising taxes is "look at everyone else's?" Does that make it okay?

Anonymous said...

3:27 of course you shouldn't hold your officials accountable to poor spending and favoritism. Just make everyone else pay more so that you can do what ever you want.

Anonymous said...

Although it is probably a monetary drop in the bucket the stadium was completely packed for the recent college games playing for the Governor's Cup.

Occasional Patron said...

5:47 raises a question from me. Since the Braves' organization owns it all, including the concessions and ticket stand, what about the money made from tickets for intra-state baseball games?

And, yes, the town of Pearl is rather pretty much in the center of The Metro, although the Krystal on North State may be more precisely centered.

Anonymous said...

From 2010:

City of Pearl: Fitch Ratings Downgrade Not Warranted Posted by: Amy McCullough in NEWS March 19, 2010

"Pearl Mayor Brad Rogers said he expects Fitch Ratings to soon issue a correction to the news today that the company is downgrading the city’s credit rating.

Rogers said, “The city of Pearl is in the strongest financial position it’s been in in a long time. There are no problems.”"

Also there may be a lack of keeping up to date with continuing disclosures: http://emma.msrb.org/IssueView/IssueDetails.aspx?id=EA335149

Anonymous said...

Tim BennetT moved on down to Biloxi and performed another magic show. Yates built the stadium and attendance is already very low. The city is trying to put together other venues to use stadium but look for this to become a financial burden for Biloxi.

Anonymous said...

Hey KF:

In case the mayor didn't explain it to you refer to the 2014 Pearl Annual Audit.
See page 33:
Notes to Financial Statements
#4 Other Information
B. Contingencies
for the details. As I read it the City will pay up to $800,000 make good on revenue deficits

The quote in your post: "In 2014, the most recent year on record, the city paid $911,748, more than 5 percent of its general fund spending for the year, to cover shortfalls." Is explained as follows:

In 2014 Rankin County apparently paid $320,000 to Pearl in connection with these bonds to partially cover the revenue shortfall. This was apparently agreed to on an annual basis. In addition there is a $150,000 annual payment (commencing January 2015) from City of Pearl to Bloomfield Equities LLC. See page 35 of the 2014 annual audit. It appears from the language in the audit that the $150,000 is separate from the up to $800,000 in revenue make good.

For Pearl: Up to $800,000 plus $150,000 less $320,000 = WINNING!!!

Anonymous said...

12:15 a.m. --

I despise the Kenyan in the White House, his Sovietizing the American health care system and his very existence.

But you can't pin mismanagement of the City of Pearl, Mississippi on liberalism. Sorry. The physics of reality won't allow it.

I'm eager to read KF's interview/analysis with the current mayor, but there's seemingly no way to chalk this up to anything but shitty decision-making and stewardship of tax dollars.

Do the math. Looks to me like Pearl's on the verge of bankruptcy. Detroit hasn't had a GOP administration since 1954; can't blame Republicans for that dumpster fire, can we? Be rational.

Yes, Yes, Yes. By All Means Be Rational said...

ROFLMAO

The physics of reality won't allow it.

Then we get:

Be rational.

LOL LOL LOL

Anonymous said...

Niknar is Rankin spelled backwards

Anonymous said...

I thought Yates owned the stadium and rented it to the Braves. Would that be the $150k payment from Bloomfield to Pearl? I wonder what the Braves pay Bloomfield (Yates) for rent if that is the case. How did Bloomfield and Yates stay out of that article? The deal was dead until Yates stepped up....and then bought all the surrounding land.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:43 p.m.-

Dad, please close your AOL and get off the interwebs!

Only in Mississippi are people still trotting out the "Kenyan" trope. I'm sure you're old, but somehow you're misusing the concept of "sovietizing".

Anyway, go pop a Flomax and a Viagra and enjoy the views from Bridgewater with Mom.

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia, Trustmark Park is owned by Bloomfield Equities, LLC. The owners of Bloomfield are not publicly searchable. Ownership was transferred to the LLC in 2014. That document was searchable.

Anonymous said...

Bloomfield is Yates. So how much do they get from the Braves a year? Seems to me like they are the only ones who are going to come out ahead on this deal. They got the construction fees for bass pro and the stadium, and also own the stadium and get the lease payment from the Braves. They played developer on the strip mall and all the surrounding land (with "resort" tax credits or whatever shady designation they weaseled into). You can make all sorts of number work when you can easily manipulate the construction costs and have paid for politicians. I bet there was a major jump in Jimmy Foster's campaign coffer about the time the deal all came together....and of course several of our friends in the house/senate as well. They are all a bunch of crooks...plain and simple.

Sorry taxpayers....just more of the rich getting richer off of your tax dollars and crooked, ignorant politicians. However, this is chump change compared to the fleecing going on at Kemper. Who has been awarded the most contracts on that boondoggle?

Anonymous said...



According to a 2004 MBJ story:

"“Fans will be able to walk all around during a game and feel like they’re part of the game,” said Murray D. Wikol, founder and president of Bloomfield Equities LLC, owner of the stadium. “The suites and seats will be close to the ball diamond. It will be a fun, entertaining place, all master planned to complement the Bass Pro Shop.” "

The formation papers on file at the MS SOS show the same Murray D Wikol as a member, and a Jason Voyles as the registered agent.

Anonymous said...

@1:49..Yates is the contractor who has gotten the most from Kemper! So, let's just say things are not quite above board are they?

Anonymous said...

Disagree. The Braves AA baseball franchise should have been located in the Capitol City. It could have been a positive game changer for Jackson. Then Mayor Johnson and Parks & Rec Director Ramie Ford had other ideas and loyalties with the Central Baseball League and shut AA organizers out.

Anonymous said...

Kemper is owned by the Southern Company. They hired a contractor - in fact, several contractors. Are you suggesting that Yates should have turned down the opportunity to be the contractor on this massive project less than 50 miles from their home office just because you think that Kemper should never have been built?

On the Trustmark Park, Yates was engaged to be the contractor by Bennett. When they were half through and the contract with the Braves was still unsettled, Yates moved in and took over ownership of the property in order to arrange for the financing - or so the story goes.

Now Yates/Bloomfield owns the park and rents it to the Braves. If they should pull out, please explain to me the theory that Yates will be the ones that "come out ahead". Yes, they will own a nice stadium, but what the hell good will that do them or anybody else.

They bought up the surrounding land and appear to have done a good job of developing it. Nothing different than the folks that bought up the land out Lakeland in the 80's (Primos, et.al) and developed it. Or the developers that bought up the land further out Lakeland in the Grants Ferry area and developed it. Same animosity for them as you obviously have for Yates?

Folks with money have the ability to make money. Its an old axiom, but it never seems to change until some of them lose it on a bad deal along the way. And some do; never see the people crying for them then. But lots of envy from those that think the ones that put their money to use in developing projects that us common folks wish we could do but can't - so we bitch about them doing it

Anonymous said...

Everyone has missed the truth!!! Mayor Rogers administration spent millions of collected stadium bond debt in other areas. Few of the alderman knew this had happened until repayment pressure was applied on Rogers.
The original agreement was a winner for Pearl after the 2% tourism tax was passed. Do your homework KF and you will see the truth.
KF, the truth needs to be exposed on this bond debt.

Anonymous said...

Murray Wikol. Forgot about that piece to the puzzle. He was bought/forced out bc he couldn't get his money together. Bloomfield was his, but now it is the son in law's.

For such a big outfit, Bloomberg sure missed out on a lot of the details of this story. Maybe Kingfish will dig up the truth bc there is a whole lot more to this one.

Anonymous said...

2:16pm....Jason Voyles is the Yates' son-in-law.

Anonymous said...

You could put one of everything into downtown Jackson and few people would still venture there.

Anonymous said...

Pearl Special Tax 2014/2015 total $772,873.00
Braves Lease Payment approximately $270,000.00
$1.00 per ticket approximately $225,000.00
50% of Bass Pro Shop sales tax ??????????

Annual bond debt $1,200,000.00 It is not rocket science to figure out the original agreement serviced the debt.
KF the multiple changes to the original agreement is devastating to the taxpayers of Pearl.

Anonymous said...

no 4:31pm, we bitch about them (all of them) doing it at the expense of the tax payers and creating situations such as this and Parkway East. And we bitch bc the contracts are a scam and construction costs are 5 times the initial estimates (kemper). And under every one of these deals (countless others, not just Yates involved of which there are many) lurk crooked politicians who just happen to receive hunting trips and special favors and campaign contributions from countless "well wishers".

Anonymous said...

Yates, Bloomfield or Spectrum Capital (all the same) Worked the young inexperienced Brad Rogers over. This is what happens when you get the municipality you were elected to protect indebted by not paying bond payments timely.

Anonymous said...

The current mayor of Pearl was Alderman at Large when the deal for the Braves stadium was being made. The land the stadium is built on was owned by his father and the City of Pearl acquired the property from him for the development. The only citizens of Pearl who have thus far benefited from this development is the Mayor, Brad Rogers, and his father.

Anonymous said...

KF the multiple changes to the original agreement is devastating to the taxpayers of Pearl.

Show us the damages. Not hypotheticals, the damages to Pearl property taxpayers.

Bat Crack said...

Who gives a shit about all this drama and minutia? Baseball is America's game and is a fun evening out for one or the entire family.

If I get home with a dollar in my pocket after buying two beers, a hot dog and some popcorn, I don't give a rat's ass what Yates or anybody else makes.

Take me out to the ball game!

Anonymous said...

@5:38 - no, I see bitching here about Yates. Not any of the other developers who have used the same programs that were created by the legislature and used by the developers.

Love your analysis of the 'construction costs being five times too much'. I am sure you are a good, honest contractor that would build these structures for 20% of what they are actually costing.

As a lender involved in multiple deals similar to these, let me assure you that the folks that are putting up the cash in the form of loans or bonds have a much better concept of cost than you obviously do, and they are not going to be lending anything out of the ordinary for construction and development costs.

Should the developers and the contractors make a profit?? Absolutely. Don't want one building it too cheap - the results will show. But as a lender, or a bondholder or financer the construction/development cost is not anything like you obviously assume.

Kemper cost overruns, however, have not been the fault of the contractors - it is the design changes that are being made throughout construction as they build something that has never been built before. Contractors make the changes, but in doing so are obviously charging for making the changes. That would be true no matter who the contractors are; sorry to bust your bubble.

Anonymous said...

Where is the 'YAWNNNN' guy?

Johnny Wadd said...

Speaking of pearl..... does anyone know why luke woodham is not showing up on the MDOC website. Did he get released?

Anonymous said...

Luke Woodham is still in MDOC. I just searched for him and he showed up.

Anonymous said...

Yates is not the contractor at Kemper.

Anonymous said...

KF the multiple changes to the original agreement is devastating to the taxpayers of Pearl.

Show us the damages. Not hypotheticals, the damages to Pearl property taxpayers.

If you cannot get the truth out of Mayor Rogers, contact the alderman. Mayor Rogers finally informed the alderman when the heat was on for repayment of the default bond payments.

Anonymous said...

KF the multiple changes to the original agreement is devastating to the taxpayers of Pearl.

Show us the damages. Not hypotheticals, the damages to Pearl property taxpayers.

29.07% 6 mill tax increase to pay back the millions of bond revenue received by the City of Pearl and spent elsewhere.

If you cannot get the truth out of Mayor Rogers, contact the alderman. Mayor Rogers finally informed the alderman when the heat was on for repayment of the default bond payments.

Anonymous said...

So, Yates got PAID to build the park, and he became owner.....no money out of pocket from his company so it's the taxpayers that built it for Bill Yates.

Anonymous said...

9:23am...you better tell Yates that...

http://www.wgyates.com/yates-role-to-be-expanded-on-ms-power-kemper-plant/

Anonymous said...

7:55pm....I see Yates business development is out. I also see that correct sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation are not the strong suit of the organization.

Anonymous said...

No agenda available for the taxpayers of Pearl until the meeting tonight in Pearl. This is typical of the Brad Rogers administration.

Anonymous said...

KF, It appears my response to how the taxpayers have been harmed has been blocked and will not post.

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:55pm...you need to revise your last sentence in your first paragraph to read, "the legislature, used by developers to create programs to fleece tax payers..."

You obviously don't come here much if you think this is just about Yates. Every time one of these deals that transfer a huge chunk of the risk from the developer to the tax payer, via politicians who are bought and paid for by the developer, it is called out for what it is on here. Even if it is "legal", it is immoral to play small towns and counties and tax payers the way they do. Morality has never really been a Yates or developer strong suit though.

Kingfish said...

Because you made an accusation that could be libelous.

Anonymous said...

What has happened to the people? Are they so hard up for someone to elect that they will vote for all of these thieves? Are all politicians thieves or just all thieves politicians? There has to be an honest person the people could vote for.

Anonymous said...

9:52 - wrong guess. Might be correct about sentence structure, etc but not about Yates BD. Not on the payroll, never have been. Very familiar with them and their competitors though. And also with the process used by them and many.

And to 9:47 - get real. Not at all what has been said or was done. Yates was building for the owner who couldn't get financing. So, Yates took over and financed the deal themselves, or so it was said at the time. Kinda like you building your own trailer house, borrowing the money from the local payday lender, and then you paying off the note. Yes, you built it and paid yourself, but it was with money that you borrowed. Similar concept - just on a much higher level than you can comprehend evidently.

Anonymous said...

@4:05, then why, if Yates is so great in your opinion did they proceed with construction of financing had not been worked out? Kind of like that "big trailer house" you referenced to that Yates "took over" per the exact words of one of his employees. It's called the Beach Club at Fort Morgan. Evidently you work for him so that is why you are taking up for him. The point we and some others are trying to make is this. You don't build if you don't have financing secured, as in this case. And when you have someone such as a large corporation who conveniently steps in and takes over then obviously you either want to turn and look away or you more than likely are an employee of Yayes and don't want to admit what is going on. Pearl shouldn't have to bear the burden of a huge mistake they weren't prepared for.

Anonymous said...

The people in Pearl should buy a better class of politicians.

Anonymous said...

Kf, Mayor Rogers was the alderman at large the entire time Jimmy Foster was the mayor. Brad Rogers knew everything about the stadium and bond financing.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.