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Featured: One of the more valuable public construction projects in Edinburg’s history took a major step forward in January 2017 with the issuance of a building permit, valued at $80 million, for the city-owned, 190,000 square foot Bert Ogden Arena, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The Bert Ogden Arena is being designed to host a variety of entertainment events, including sporting events such as basketball, concerts, family shows, and trade shows. Once completed, the total investment for the Bert Ogden Arena, a first-class indoor multi-purpose center being built at the corner of Interstate Highway 69-Central and Alberta Road in east Edinburg, will reach an estimated $88.3 million, and will serve as a major economic development engine for that region of the city.

Featured: An inside view of the Bert Ogden Arena, which will serve as the home for Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball in Edinburg beginning in Fall 2017. Currently, the RGV Vipers play their home games at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo. The RGV Vipers are affiliated with the NBA’s Houston Rockets. The facility will feature 8,500 fixed seats, which includes 1,200 club seats, 12 luxury suites, a restaurant/club area, locker rooms, offices for sports team personnel, and marquee signs by the expressway. The Bert Ogden Arena, which will have parking for 2,856 vehicles, is part of a 49.57 acre site with plans by a private investment group to build – next to or near the arena – nine pad sites that will add millions of dollars in value to that upscale commercial development. Those pad sites represent one million square feet of property for new businesses.

Illustrations Courtesy of VIPERS ARENA LLC

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Edinburg EDC: Building permit, valued at $80 million, issued for major construction phase of 190,000 square foot, 8,500-seat Bert Ogden Arena

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

One of the more valuable public construction projects in Edinburg’s history took a major step forward in January 2017 with the issuance of a building permit, valued at $80 million, for the city-owned, 190,000 square foot Bert Ogden Arena, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

Agustín García, Jr. and Mayor Richard García are not related.

In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg, through the Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits.

The Bert Ogden Arena is being designed to host a variety of entertainment events, including sporting events such as basketball, concerts, family shows, and trade shows.

Once completed, the total investment for the Bert Ogden Arena, a first-class indoor multi-purpose center being built at the corner of Interstate Highway 69-Central and Alberta Road in east Edinburg, will reach an estimated $88.3 million, and will serve as a major economic development engine for that region of the city.

Through a state economic development strategy – known as a Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) – being used by the city, there will be no increase in local property tax rates to pay for the construction of the complex.

Instead, a portion of the city’s and Edinburg EDC’s local sales taxes will be used to pay the city’s share through revenue bonds – about $46 million – of the arena’s construction, with Vipers Arena, LLC covering the rest of those costs.

A revenue bond is a municipal bond supported by revenue from a specific project, such as a toll bridge, highway, or local stadium, according to investopedia.com. Revenue bonds are municipal bonds that finance income-producing projects are are secured by a specified revenue source. Typically, revenue bonds can be issued by any government agency or fund that is manager in the manner of a business, such as entities have both operating revenues and expenses.

Vipers Arena LLC of McAllen, whose principal agent is Alonzo Cantú of McAllen, is serving as the private investor in the Public-Private Partnership. Vipers Arena LLC is overseeing all aspects of the construction of the facility, with Cantú Construction of McAllen, which is a company owned by Alonzo Cantú, building the Bert Ogden Arena.

“This joint venture is a tremendous opportunity for the City of Edinburg to improve the quality of life for residents without having to pay a single penny up front or take any away from other projects,” said Edinburg Mayor Richard H. García. “This is definitely a triumph for our residents. We are very excited about this project.”

Vipers Arena, LLC will also serve as the major tenant of the Bert Ogden Arena, and will be responsible for the operations, maintenance, scheduling of events, and marketing of the facility, which will feature 8,500 fixed seats, which includes 1,200 club seats, 12 luxury suites, a restaurant/club area, locker rooms, offices for sports team personnel, and marquee signs by the expressway.

BERT OGDEN ARENA TO SERVE AS ANCHOR FOR ADDITIONAL ONE MILLION SQUARE FEET OF NEW BUSINESSES

Elías Longoria, Jr., Secretary/Treasurer for the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, noted that the Bert Ogden Arena will have a dramatic and positive impact because of the economic develop it will create next to it.

“Obviously, the arena is going to be a major attraction, so we are going to get large numbers of people, not just from Edinburg but from throughout the region, to come see high-quality sports and events,” Longoria said. “As more people come, there will be needs for more restaurants, more service stations, so people will want to invest even more in east Edinburg, which is an area of growth for our city now.”

The Bert Ogden Arena, which will have parking for 2,856 vehicles, is part of a 49.57 acre site with plans by Alonzo Cantú to build – next to or near the arena – nine pad sites that will add millions of dollars in value to that upscale commercial development.

Those pad sites represent one million square feet of property for new businesses.

In general, a pad site is defined as a freestanding parcel of commercial real estate located in the front of a large attraction, such as a special events center, shopping center, or strip mall, which makes them very visible and accessible to consumers.

The almost 50-acre site that will be anchored by the Bert Ogden Arena was originally property designated for agricultural purposes, producing little in property taxes or sales taxes for local, county and state governments.

The major entertainment venue is named after the Bert Ogden of Edinburg, who established his first dealership in Edinburg in 1970. He and his wife, Dorothy, both passed away in 1992, the result of a car accident. But his daughter, Janet, and son-in-law, Robert Vacker, continued with the family business, which has evolved into one of the most successful vehicle dealerships in the nation.

On Thursday, February 26, 2015, Vipers Arena LLC announced that the Bert Ogden Auto Group had purchased the naming rights for the complex in honor of the visionary Edinburg man.

In addition, the Bert Ogden Arena will serve as the home for Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball to Edinburg beginning in Fall 2017. Currently, the RGV Vipers play their home games at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo. The RGV Vipers are affiliated with the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

The Vipers are part of The NBA Development League, which is NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory, according to http://dleague.nba.com/about/. Featuring 22 teams — all with one-to-one affiliations with NBA franchises — in the 2016-17 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

“Today is the biggest day in franchise history for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. We are excited to break ground and be the anchor tenants of Bert Ogden Arena,” RGV Vipers President Bert García said during the February 2015 ground breaking. “Not only does Edinburg serve as the (Hidalgo County) county seat, but now, it is also becoming the sports and entertainment hub of the Rio Grande Valley.”

Bert García is not related to Mayor Richard García or Edinburg EDC Executive Agustín García, Jr.

“The arena will offer luxury, quality, and exceptional service – all traits synonymous with the Bert Ogden brand. We are also proud to have a local business organization lit up on the arena’s marquee as our naming rights partner,” the RGV Vipers president continued. “The RGV Vipers have always focused on supporting the community that supports us. Partnering with Bert Ogden Auto Group is just one more way to keep our business local.”

RGV VIPERS IN EDINBURG WILL BE PART OF EXPANDED NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

According to its website, beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) will be renamed the NBA Gatorade League (NBA G-League) as part of a multiyear expanded partnership announced on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Gatorade. This marks the first time a U.S. professional sports league has named an entitlement partner.

As part of the partnership, the NBA and Gatorade unveiled a new NBA G-League logo that will be featured across all game balls, team jerseys, oncourt signage, and league digital assets. Additionally, Gatorade will incubate its latest product and equipment innovations into NBA G-League locker rooms, and teams will have the opportunity to collaborate with Gatorade to help players maximize their athletic potential and oncourt performance.

Through the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI), the sports fuel company will collaborate with the NBA G-League on programs to enhance player sports performance and recovery. Since 1985, GSSI has helped athletes optimize their sports performance and well-being through research, education, innovation and providing high-caliber sports nutrition science services. GSSI scientists will partner with the NBA G-League on player nutrition and training programs, incorporating the newest technology and innovations in Gatorade testing, product and equipment.

Founded as a league to develop NBA talent, the NBA D-League has become an integral part of the NBA family, with 40 percent of current NBA players having spent time in the NBA D-League and four current NBA head coaches starting as coaches on NBA D-League benches.

The league has tripled in size from eight teams during the inaugural 2001-02 season to a record 25 teams for the 2017-18 campaign. NBA owners have increasingly invested in the NBA D-League, with 15 NBA clubs purchasing an NBA D-League team since the 2012-13 season, bringing the total number of NBA-owned minor league franchises to 20 for next season.

“As one of the most iconic brands in the world and a founding partner of the NBA Development League, Gatorade is an ideal fit for this first-of-its-kind partnership,” said Mark Tatum, NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO. “The NBA D-League has prepared hundreds of players for the NBA and Gatorade has always been focused on fueling players to perform at the highest level. We look forward to collaborating with the renowned GSSI team to enhance player development and our game.”

Connectivity between the NBA and the NBA’s official minor league continues to grow. Recent changes to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement have reinforced that synergy, as NBA teams will be able to have up to two “two-way players” on their rosters beginning next season. These “two-way players” will gain experience in the NBA, but will primarily play in the NBA G-League as part of their NBA journeys.

“We have more than 50 years of experience working with athletes and using those insights to help improve athletic performance through innovative sports fuel and equipment,” said Brett O’Brien, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Gatorade. “This expansion of our NBA partnership is a great opportunity to not only work with the elite athletes of the NBA G-League, but also continue to lead the evolution of basketball performance.”

The partners will also collaborate on custom, behind-the-scenes video content which will capture NBA G-League players on their respective journeys, highlighting a shared commitment to enhancing performance through innovation.

A founding partner of the NBA D-League, Gatorade will continue to present the league’s Gatorade Call-Up platform. Since 2001, there have been nearly 500 Gatorade Call-Ups from the NBA D-League to the NBA.

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Rebecca Sweat,Jesse Robbins, and the NBA Development League contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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