As is usual, many of the comments are spot on and some are riff with unsupported allegations and false information... welcome to social news.
I read through the articles, made a few calls and feel I have a decent understanding of the plan. I say decent because everyone puts their spin on things and the full picture is often hard to paint, especially for a paint by numbers guy like me.
My base take on things is there are a number of people out there who are trying to figure out what to do to re-energize the fallen downtown Phoenix “sports district”. Rather than the epic entertainment and sports neighborhood many envisioned, we have a condo tower in questionable recovery,vacant storefronts and more questions than answers.
The plan discussed on AZCentral uses “flashy Vegas-type signs” to enliven the area and create ad space. The digital ads would create revenue for both the organization behind them and the City of Phoenix.
The organization mentioned above has a vested interest in the future of downtown sports since they also have ownership interests in the DBacks and Suns. To some folks that makes them evil,while others say, yeah for the home team.
Personally, I see both pros and cons. Lights, cameras, action is not just a director’s statement, it is used to spark action. Digital ads are energetic and energy is what the region needs. Ads create revenue and getting national retailers to drop money downtown can be advantageous... not always but not never either. The ad revenue is a taxable event so a City suffering from revenue shortfalls would have a new food source.
On the con side of things, lots of large signs may not add positively to the flavor of the district. That will depend on where they are placed, how they are structured and the creativity of the ads being shown. They could be very cool or they could just throw off a lot of light pollution without adding a cultural advantage.
I’d love to hear your take on things. Hopefully with well thought ideas verses simple rants... we get enough of those on AZCentral and other blogs... UrbanLIfe readers are above that in most cases.
Best to you
The Urban Team