Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No Go On Red Bull BMX Event

According to a post on the Chicago Journal Blog, it sounds as if the controversial Red Bull BMX event that was scheduled for May 14-15 at the Southwestern corner of Harrison and Wells is a no go:
The Red Bull Stomping Grounds BMX tournament won't be held at the southwestern corner of Harrison and Wells, a representative from the drink company has confirmed.
Jennifer Belongia, a Red Bull spokeswoman, told Chicago Journal this afternoon that "the site is going to be changing ... based on what's best for the event."
There has been a healthy discussion from people who support and oppose the event and from the sounds of it the people who opposed it won. Here are some older Sloopin posts on the topic.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Totally sucks! My balcony over looks this park and I HAVE A DOG AND I was not bothered by the fact that I would have to walk him instead of let him roam the PRIVATE PROPERTY across the street. What's wrong with a little bit of attention in Printer's Row, people? Its 2 days!! It really is a shame that a bunch of whiners got together, cried to the alderman and ruined what could have been a really cool weekend for the rest of us. God forbid we cancel the BOOK FAIR.....yeah I said it! Lighten up South Loop!!!

Anonymous said...

Do the math:
Desperate for Cash Landowner + Unorganized Hipster event +lame brain promoter - permits - basic planning and preparation = PEOPLE Getting killed +Frivolous Lawsuits for taxpayers

I think it would be a great event, but these guys should have been rolling this out 6 months ago, not 3 weeks prior. This is exactly the kind of unorganized arrangement that provided the spectacle called, E2 Nightclub. Tell us how that worked out?

Anonymous said...

The fact that you are equating this to the E2 Nightclub tragedy is a joke. Red Bull is one of the best brands in the world and a power-hungry alderman and some whiny neighbors told them to go elsewhere. Way to go Chicago!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Olympics to me...

People put up a fuss and it goes somewhere else.

Chris said...

You know, Red Bull does events like this all the time. I don't often hear about people getting killed or frivolous lawsuits for taxpayers.

I think maybe some of you visualized this as some kind of event that would be open to the public to participate in. Not so. People who ride in these things are professionals who are sponsored and most likely insured.

Nobody would have gotten hurt or killed.

Also, I'm not really big into BMX, Red Bull, or any such events. However, I do come from a very small town in Indiana and the kind of nitpicking and him-hawing I've seen over this event here is something I would have expected more from Indiana than here in the city. I guess I just don't see why people get so up in arms about things that hardly concern them.

Chris said...

In other words: "We must PROTECT our neighborhood's vacant lots!!!"

Julie said...

Red Bull is still advertising this on its site and apparently selling tickets, which is a little troubling. Will hordes of disappointed BMX fans still descend on the site?

I had no problem with the event, per se, but the slapdash way it was being put together, and the promoters apparent disregard for working with the city, are not good signs.

Anonymous said...

You Hipsters crack me up. Don't you get it, the Red Bull Planning for this was a joke. The bothered not to comprehend the various permit, code, and other requirements for such an event, and did it to themselves. They spent more time on their website promotion than actual planning for the event. This was really, really poorly planned. Next time, find a local promoter, permit guy, and start a little earlier. Sheesh, how dumb can potheads be.

Anonymous said...

Call me a stodgy old geezer but I chose to live in Printers Row due in large part to it's "Book Fair" rep/vibe.

I have no problem with Red Bull but they don't want to be treated like a fly-by-night carny show they shouldn't act like one.

And can you imagine how totally bunged up the traffic would have been around this area? Especially with all the road construction a couple block. away

Marie said...

Like many others in the neighborhood, I was opposed to this event, at least until Red Bull/the property owner could provide answers to my concerns regarding the potential release of contaminants from this site, the appearance of this lot when the event concluded, and the precedent this event set for future uses of this property.

Unfortunately, Red Bull did not provide these answers. Had they properly planned this event, instead of throwing it together at the last minute, the planners likely would have been able to properly respond to these questions. And if I was confident in their responses, and that this event benefited the neighborhood, I would have supported it. But, since they chose the last-minute approach, the don't-involve-the-neighborhood approach, I did not support this event.

People in the neighborhood had a right to be alarmed. I agree that concerns about parking, congestion, and traffic for a 1-2 day event were a little overblown, but still, not to be ignored. On the other hand, concerns about contamination, appearance, and future uses of the lot were not. These are exactly the type of issues that should interest any neighborhood. In fact, it really doesn't matter what the owner of that lot tries to do with their property - a parking lot, a large-scale event, an eighty-story building - I will always voice my concerns about the environmental contamination that exists on this site and the effect any development will have on my neighborhood. You'd be hard pressed to find any neighborhood in Chicago where property owners won't voice such concerns.

Supporters of this event keep saying that Red Bull is a "world class corporation" that puts on successful events all over the world, but you honestly wouldn't know it by the way they planned this event. The difference between the annual Printer's Row Book Fair and this Red Bull Stomping Ground event is obvious. One is well-planned and the other is not. Face it, Red Bull dropped the ball on this one, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

For the record, I am young and I ride bikes. That doesn't mean I will blindly support events involving youth and bikes.

Michael said...

Another amazing example of fear-mongering NIMBY's getting together and scaring everyone away. Why is it so difficult to accomplish anything here? Chicago is becoming such a bore...

Anonymous said...

I'd find it hard to believe that ANY MAJOR METROPOLITAN CITY IN THE US would have green-lit such a slap-dash event/promotion RIGHT IN IT'S DOWNTOWN without covering the fundamentals first.

With Chicago as hard up for cash as it is, you gotta figure there were more than a couple tiny wrinkles in Red Bulls event planning procedures.

Anonymous said...

If I'm a NIMBY for not wanting some transient local land use that promotes a product/corporation and doesn't contribute any socioeconomic value to my community . . . then I guess that's what I am.

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem: this is private property. The owners/investors of this land do not need to seek your approval when they decide to lease their investments. The best argument going is the so called "worried contamination craze". They don't dig up the land for these events, they erect their own track and take it down, no problems. Some of you need to wake up here! You live in the third largest city in America. You are not going to be afforded the luxuries of suburbia! There is traffic, noise, garbage, dirt and events all the time in this great city! Deal with it! If I were these investors/owners I would be pretty pissed that a bunch of controlling yuppies thwarted my business venture. As a result of this thoughtless and righteous indignation, the land owners should build a 10 foot fence around the entire plot and pad lock it keeping everyone off of their private investment! Quit calling it a park, its not a park, its not a vacant lot, every time you step foot in their you are trespassing!!! Sorry dog owners but you really "screwed the pooch" on this one!

Chris said...

Hmm, the comment moderation policy doesn't seem to be helping this one...

Anonymous said...

This event would not end like the E2 event. Differnt class of people with differnt class of values and different class of standards.

Anonymous said...

Indeed.

Anonymous said...

"This event would not end like the E2 event. Differnt class of people with differnt class of values and different class of standards."

Nice comment, did you leave the sheets and torch at home? Did not know BMX guys were so high up the food chain.

One has to wonder if the landowners, who live and have business in the neighborhood (D2 Realty), knew it was a clunker, which is why they waited to roll it out.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what a relatively small daytime outdoor athletic event and an indoor evening rock concert at a huge indoor arena have in common.

Anonymous said...

Once again, "someone" tries to inject race into the discussion with a comment about 'sheets and torches.'

This event IS different in every way from the E2 event. Nobody is putting BMX riders "at the top of the food chain"; however, it's safe to say that these athletes likely don't have a lot in common with booze-filled partiers at an overcrowded nightclub.

Anonymous said...

How were BMX riders supposed to get over there anyway, the #12 bus?

Chris said...

Probably on their bikes. Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Gotta love those NIMBYs who pretend that South Loop is sooo Lincoln Park that they have the right to anything and everything. That's why this neighborhood is so slow attracting prsopective residents because it doesn't get much attention like other hip neighborhoods! Go back to the suburbs!!

Anonymous said...

Gotta love those vacant lot owners, who can't keep their property looking respectable, and want the neighborhood to support their transient land use, just so they can make a buck because they overpaid for their land at the height of the real estate bubble. But yeah, let's just talk about the NIMBY's...it's all their fault for asking appropriate questions that clearly no one wanted to provide answers for...and as a result, Red Bull had to pack up and move to a different location. Boo hoo hoo.

Anonymous said...

Know i now why i dont go to the south loop.