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NE: Ralston mayor insists arena problems not tied to GM’s move

By   /   November 27, 2012  /   7 Comments

By Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

FOR SALE: Ralston Arena’s naming rights are still unsold. City wants $2.5 million.

RALSTON — Feces on the floor.

Water fountains dry.

Concession stand closed.

Ice time mix-ups.

And, oh yea, no high-dollar naming rights.

Nebraska Watchdog has uncovered growing pains at the 6-week-old, city-owned, $37-million Ralston Arena.

The problems surfaced following General Manager Curtis Webb’s unexpected and immediate resignation that was announced late last week.

But Ralston Mayor Don Groesser tells Nebraska Watchdog none of the missteps at the 4,600 seat arena — 4,000 for hockey — were tied to Webb’s departure.

“I’m sorry to see him go. Now I’ve got to find somebody else,” said Groesser.

According to the mayor, Webb whose family never followed him to Nebraska, is heading home to take a similar job in Minnesota.

WHAT’S IN A NAME: Not much at the new Ralston Arena.

As for the initial glitches, the mayor tells Nebraska Watchdog:

  • The feces on the floor spilled out when a pump motor, jammed with a piece of construction wire, backed-up and overflowed. It was “cleaned-up right away” and won’t happen again, Groesser said.
  • The water fountains that were out of commission the first two weeks are now working.
  • The ice time mix-ups, which found some skaters sent home, were caused by scheduling snafus when no Zamboni drivers were available.  “I think we’ve addressed those,” the mayor said.
  • The sometimes-closed concession stand — the city leases it out — is a work in progress and the mayor wants it open full-time. Groesser said the other day at 4 p.m. he noticed it was closed. Why?  He was told the lone operator, who had run out of milk, shut down to go buy more.

And then there are those coveted and still unsold naming rights.

Just down the road, Werner Trucking puts its name on Sarpy County’s $26-million minor-league ballpark, shelling out $305,000 a year for five years with an option for a second five-years. That would bring in a little more than $3 million.

Groesser said he’s had a couple of prospects for the naming rights, but none hit his number. He wants $250,000 a year for 10 years, or $2.5 million.

“We didn’t have any luck selling it and I wasn’t going to give it away,” the mayor said. “I’m kind of excited about calling it the Ralston Arena.”

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org.

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Joe Jordan

  • http://www.facebook.com/ricky.fulton Ricky Fulton

    For those people of Ralston who expected the arena to pay for itself; wake up and smell the coffee! But remember it was voted in (mail in ballots) by 60 per cent. But were they sold a bill of goods?

  • D. Mark

    The Ralston Arena sounds about right, but how does the Ralston Taxpayer’s Arena sound, since they will end up paying for it!

  • Jazzee

    Ralston built an excellent arena and us Lancer fans are happy they have a home since Omaha did nothing but run them out of town and treat them like second class jerks…..hope someone steps up….gee maybe Buffet since he so wants to give away his money why not here locally instead of to the arrogant federal government…..just sayin’

  • resistwemuch

    Time for Ralston to be annexed by big brother.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    The Ralston Purarena?

  • ralston_parent

    Joe – the concession stand was open for 15 hours that day only to close it’s gate for 30 minutes in between an all day event and to get ready for the 2nd event that evening. Money needed to be exchanged out and the stand needed to be restocked which is typicaly when you have an all day event and then go start another. Do your homework and don’t just report part of the story.

  • disqus_XoULQk8fbv

    sounds like ralston parent is the mayors kid. wake up ralston, your done. move out while you can. what a waste of money. Have fun paying the high lancer prices and higher taxes for your free parking hole in the ground.