A group of individuals are going forward with a plan to build an 85 million dollar performing arts center where the old D.P.S. offices were.  So, a new facility and you don’t have to pay, what could be wrong with that?  A lot.  It will have ramifications for years to come.  More after the jump.

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First off, this facility is being built with ballet, orchestra and plays in mind.  Unless you are into one of those three things, this venue is NOT for you.  A venue of this sort will take a huge chunk of the business from the Civic Center Theater and The City Bank Auditorium. This will result in those venues either falling into disrepair or having to charge more for their few remaining events to stay afloat.

Worst of all, why would the city ever take on the challenge of building upgraded facilities for the rest of us in Lubbock, knowing that such a large chunk of potential business will go instead to the performing arts center?  This is much the same dilemma that we have with United Spirit Arena.  Its primary purpose is basketball, but it puts on just enough concerts to keep anyone from complaining too loudly about us not having a full service venue.

I understand that the public is unwilling these days to fund public works projects.  What the public itself needs to know is that they are doing long term damage to themselves.  The wealthy will go on with projects on their own regardless of how it affects the community at large.

My guess is that at some point in the future the parties behind this performing arts center will get tired of tapping their friends for funds to build and operate this venue and will turn to the public.  They'll probably overuse the word "concerts" to make you think they might someday book something of interest to you. Before you donate a dollar to these efforts, please be aware that this is a privately held effort and in the long run it’s a disservice to the community and it's being built for the very specific interests of very specific people.