Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Year Round: Big Screen Fun

With Spring on it's way, It is time to think Summer with a fun project.

Check out this cool projection screen project: Perfect for back yard movie parties, portable to bring to take with you and versatile to set up in different rooms as your wish.


I'm thinking a fun add on to my dull basement workout corner; disassemble and take it on the road as I please. what are your thoughts?  

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bob's Blog Hiatus

For many reasons, I gave this blog a long rest. Time to switch to other personal and professional goals. One goal completed was passing the Architects exam last summer, other goals I am still working on. Stay tune and I will post more of my past letters and ideas.

My old MNspeak blog Posting

3 Teams 2 Stadiums under 1 Movable roof
Posted April 9, 2007
Here is my idea to replace the Metrodome.

Wow, so many website hits with this posting, Do you remember that cold and snowy April?KARE even ran a story about a ball park roof .

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Minneapolis Armory

Here is the unedited letter that I sent into the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Published on July 9, 2007 as the letter of the day.

Built in 1936, this historical building occupies a full city block between 5th and 6th Street and Portland and 5th Ave. South. Since the National Guard vacated the building in 1983, this building has been searching for a new useful purpose. A hotel with an indoor golf course was once proposed. As proposed County Jail site, this would have leveled the Armory. Recently the current owners open up the building for parking. As one walks thought the old drill hall turned parking lot, a photo on the parking attendant’s hut displays what this space looked like when the Minneapolis Lakers played there. One can image the electricity that once filled the air within this space when the Lakers played championship basketball. It would great to bring that kind of excitement back to the Minneapolis Armory

In the past, the area located between the business core and the Metrodome, HCMC and the U of M was thought of as a real state advantage, but development did not move in. Today the Armory and Zygi Wilf’s new blocks of real estate are between popular new housing developments areas of Elliot Park and the Riverfront and adjacent to the popular Hiawatha light Rail line. The new Guthrie, Gold Medal Park and the Metrodome are among the Armory current cultural neighboring attractions.

A Winter Garden is a part of the Vikings new stadium vision; A glass lid over the existing Metrodome plaza and Kirby Puckett place. Meanwhile standing a block away on 5th Street is the under unitized Armory. With a bit of sprucing up, the old drill hall would make a wonderful and larger Winter Garden. The same kind of electricity that once filled the air with the Minneapolis Lakers can return with the Minnesota Vikings fans. Bands and vendors could fill up the Armory with pre game excitement while possibly trimming dollars off the Vikings stadium plans.

The Armory is just a few light rail whistle stops away to the ballpark site and Target Center. Just like with the Target Center’s design, a small building site limits the amount of internal assembly space with-in the proposed county ballpark. The Armory can serve as a pre-game and rain delay game assembly point for other sporting teams. An all weather enclosure would be great, dry warming or cooling house for all sports fans.

For off days, the well built Armory can be used for parking. But as more new residential building projects replace the parking lots, more people will be living downtown. The Armory could serve as a community gathering place. Neighborhood Farmers Market, festivals and other gatherings can reutilize this vast building.

Historical buildings like the Armory are not truly saved until it is a profitable building to the owners and an asset for the city. Let’s hope that there is a place for a revitalized Minneapolis Armory within Zygi Wilf’s real state and stadium vision.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

county stadium sales tax

I can see him now saying it from his helicopter perch, “If you are saving $30 or $150 in county stadium sales tax, it is worth the drive to Tousley Ford.”

What will to happen to the stadium funding numbers if the shopping moves across county lines? If business relocates across county lines, would county property values and taxes change? Who would be left with the county stadium debt?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dear House tax committee

Good evening members of the Minnesota House Tax committee, my name is Robert Hooper. I am a Resident of Dakota county

I e-mailed the members of the board a letter and a copy my copyrighted Sportsapolis stadium proposal. Please go to my website if any one else here would like to see it. The reason of this hearing is to discuss the Twins stadium bill. Unless otherwise asked, I will not be presenting my copyrighted design tonight; it is available at Sportsapolis.com

That is “Sports” plus the last half of the host city Minneapolis “apolis”

Don’t be fooled by the numbers. I believe that the current Twins stadium tax bill sets a bad example that if pass. Similar bills would surly be duplicated again and again. In simple terms, it’s taxation with out representation.

If the current state leaders want to shift its leadership, taxation and responsibilities to the counties; who is to say that it would stop at Stadiums? Turn state parks and schools over to the counties. Maybe letting the counties run and fund the states welfare and Healthcare programs. What about State Highway department? Just think of the savings to the states plowing and pothole budget if that responsibly was turned over to the counties? The Twins stadium bill is the first step in the wrong direction.

Naming rights money.

What are the Twins getting for the naming rights and where is that money going? The Gophers have $35 million naming-rights deal with TCF Bank. Reliant stadium, home of Houston Texans receives $300 million for naming rights of the entire Astrodome complex.

An example of good public and private ballpark leadership can be found in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Team owner Bud Selig received help from the Miller Brewing Company to build his new ballpark for his Milwaukee Brewers. Financial promises where in line between the Brewers and Miller Brewing before seeking a stadium site and financial support from Wisconsin or Milwaukee. In exchange for this help, Miller received the naming rights for the new ballpark. To fund the public share of Miller Park, a regional five-county, one-tenth-of-a-cent sales tax was established.

One country should not be subsidizing the needs of the State or region.
How about a regional tax to fund the Twins, Gophers and Viking stadiums?

I have a few concerns about the proposed Twins stadium design.

Just like the Milwaukee Brewers, The Twins stadium should have a retractable roof. Rain, snow or shine, you can plan on seeing a ballgame if you go to the ballpark. If this retractable roof is shared with a football stadium, even more savings would occur. Just like my design that can be found at my website Sportsapolis.com

Three team, two stadiums under one movable roof.

People, Parking and road congestion, Is there enough Space?

There are all ready too many gathering spots in one location. There is all ready major road congestion when a Target center event takes place. If there is a Twins Home game, dose that mean that the Target center sits empty across the street so there is enough parking? What about State, Orpheum, Pantages theaters, Block E. and the Schubert Theater. There are millions and millions of private and tax payers’ dollars invested in a small part of Minneapolis. Adding the Twins stadium to that neighborhood would drive up parking demand and rates. This would squeeze the highly desired city visitors out.

The heath and safety of up to 70,000 visitors in a tight urban area also comes to mind, is the Minneapolis police department ready to deal with this? The tax payers have all ready too much at stake in that area of Minneapolis. Place the stadium someplace else and not next to the county incinerator.

The 2004 Stadium Screening Report to Governor Tim Pawlenty states, “Both the Twins and Vikings are important community resources that should be retained. Presenting separate bills for each sport runs the risk that one team will be left behind and ultimately lost.” The current three stadium bills on the table this legislative are vulnerable in three areas:

First, this procedure is at risk for leaving a team behind in the Metrodome.

Second, the residents of Anoka and Hennepin counties are not unified in support of funding a large part of a regional building project; the possibly of legal challenges of a proposed county stadium sales tax are unknown.

Third, with the large combined price tag of the three proposed stadium developments; who is to step in if a developer, team owner or county runs into trouble? For Example; in 1994, the owners of Timberwolves and Target Center were in finical trouble. The government stepped in to cover their debts.

To conclude, to successfully replace the Metrodome, I believe that sound leadership and financial support is needed from all benefiting public and private parties.

When the Twins, Vikings and Gophers play like a team, Minnesota Wins.

Thank you

Please see my copyrighted Metrodome replacement plan at Sportsapolis.com

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sportsapolis© The one sports facility solution.

A few years ago, the Twins where in last place and statistically eliminated from the playoffs by early September. The Minnesota Twins announce plans that they would like to build a temporary stadium in the parking lot of the Mall of America to build support for outdoor baseball. The idea never worked out, but it got me to thinking about the metro dome parking lot. Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Chicago and Pittsburg all built new ball parks in the Parking lot of there current stadiums. Why not here? In Seattle and Chicago; games where played at an alternate locations as there stadiums were rebuild at the same location of there old sports facility. It is a bad idea to abandon the centrally located Metrodome site with it existing access to parking ramps, freeways and public bus and rail transportation.

Back in 8th grade, our science instructor Mr. Miller at Grass Junior High School led the class to the on campus observatory. I remember hearing that this building was donated to the old Sibley High School campus by a local home builder - Rodger Sprealing - to inspire students. Astronomy was not interesting to me, but this building was: a concrete block building with a wood and fiberglass roof that moves sideways under the power of a garage door opener. With the roof repositioned on to a trestle located on the north side of the building; the telescopes inside could be used.

If the Metrodome had a roof that slid sideways off to over the parking? That idea was my spring board to designing a new sports facility. I am not a big sports fan, but over the years, I have done a lot of sketching and dreaming for this new sports facility project.

I was at first very excited to hear about the Stadium Screening Committee and was excited to present my ideas. I went to the Stadium Screening Committee web site and downloaded the application. My excitement ended when I read the Certification and Waiver. It stated “Respondent waives any copyright or any other claim of propriety, right of control, or limitation of use in relation to the information submitted.” I understand that the Stadium Screening Committee was looking for private development and financing ideals and not for innovated design ideas.

To submit my drawings, I would have to sign my rights away for all of my work and dreaming. If I was a land developer, a city, or a team, signing my rights away for my Architect’s drawings would not be possible because the Architect would still retain the copyright. Last November, I sent the attached drawings to the US copyright office and received copyright certificates on April 3, 2006.

The design focus of the Sportsapolis© is to replace the Metrodome on its own site. It would bring all existing Metrodome functions into a new inspiring first class building and be a new source of state and city pride. With an extension on Riverside Ave., the site is about 700 yards from the U of M campus. I believe that the Metrodome is a great money saving building. It is the only public stadium that does not carry a debt but it is not built to last forever. If the sports teams continue to work together, tax dollars could be saved with Sportsapolis©.