#ncga: Steinburg basketball tourney ONE HOT MESS

Once again, we have mail.

We’ve covered state Rep. Bob Steinburg’s venture into sports promotion — funded by Currituck County tax dollars — pretty extensively.  This time we have a series of emails between officials at the Asheville Civic Center and Bob Steinburg, Jr.who is apparently now helming the visitcurrituckobx.com Battle for The Blue Ridge to be held in Asheville over Thanksgiving weekend. 

Judging from recent emails, things are not going well for the big “Battle.”  Here’s Steinburg, Jr. writing to an Asheville official:

[…] As I mentioned before, the tech/logistic/etc is not my area of expertise. I have been spread thin on this one and actually got out of coaching to run it, so as not to have a mess.

The guy who is to handle logistics and the bulk of scheduling {he is a master with this stuff), had to obligate the rest of his contract  with his current employer, and my father, as you know, is in a current heated Senate race (on that his opponent and those from the other side that simply cannot beat him on the real issues /in ugly politics) have tried to use this tournament (the sponsor being a visitors’ bureau from his district—which was done completely the right way, the fact that the tournament is in NC and also involves another NC visitors’ bureau Explore Asheville, and the absolute lack of help from our friend (who will remain un-named until you and I talk…and some of the things that have gotten back to me (not just from you) that we will discuss and not put in writing}, this has gotten messy and we can discuss on the phone

…..but nevertheless, it has ALL fallen on my lap. A lot for one person to handle. Not that you care, but I literally had to walk away from a 6-figure job that I worked 21 years building my career, with a car stipend, phone, a free house, great health benefits, and a retirement that triples most Fortune-SOD companies   to do damage control and save the day…or at least try….all to hopefully break event.

I am not happy about it, especially with the parts that could have and should have been averted, as well as people’s extreme views and how  they fog every portion of their lift.

Again…………………………………………………………………………………… am  going off  on a tangent, but  this is to be spoken on the  telephone.   Alf  I can say is, imagine knowing you left being the Associate Head Coach of the Charlotte Hornets, or Offensive Coordinator of the  Charlotte  Panthers, to  become  GM  of US Cellular Arena, but you were working for free and had 2 part-time workers helping  you  /in every single  facet ofthearena…………………….. facilities, marketing, graphic design, community relations, and every other duty and personnel it  takes  to run your beautiful arena) with a deadline. And were getting  no help  for political reasons (that have nothing to do ANYTHING) even though you  were told  they would be a HUGE help?!?!

Throw deadlines in. Impossible, huh? So you can understand why I have so many questions, why I am frustrated by a great deal of things, and why I want to have  a private  conversation.  Let me emphasize,  you have been fantastic and I have a great deal of respect for you and how you run things. After our conversation, I think you will understand  the  position I am in right now.[…]

Apparently, from this conversation, we’re learning that someone official in  Currituck is asking questions and wanting to see documentation of exactly what the county is getting for its money. Again, here is a Q&A between Steinburg, Jr. and the manager of the Asheville civic center (Junior’s questions are in red) :

[..] I need a few analytic numbers to provide for the title sponsor,as they keep blowing me up,as if I have a complete analytics department (great people, but providing analytics was not in our contract with them but may be able to the political pressure down). I can get a few more detailed numbers in the end,but if you can get me these few things,that would be perfect.

[…] When did the event go up on your website? What are the approximate hits to your website each day (if that is how it is measured)?

In the last month we have had 12,300 unique visitors to our website. However there have been zero unique visitors to the event page for Battle in the Blue Ridge in the same 30 day period.[..]

That’s right.  ZERO unique visitors.  But the tale of woe from Steinburg, Jr. was not over:

[…] We will be sending out a blast to potential ticket purchasers. As I mentioned to you before, MTEs neverpushtickets.

Most…even the big ones likeThe Battle for Atlantis,Gulf-Coast Classic,etc.have less than 100 people in the stands. Unfortunately, starting with the political fires, we were forced to “hurry up and get the last 2 teams” when that is not how you schedule in Division I.

This left us with more limitations for regional coverage,as well as allowing 2 teams in for free (which basically left us paying for these teams (their portion of the gym rental, officials, etc.). This left $50-7Sk that we didn’t make off the teams, as well as losing 35k in their official’s fees and 15k in their portion of the gym.

We realized with this being our first one (together as a team) that we would not make much money. It was more important that it just go well. We did not anticipate the unwarranted political issues that have made things difficult. With that being said, combining with time being spent putting out politically inspired fires, the lack of assistance and sentiment being soured from the un-named person we will discuss on the telephone,being short-staffed because of some contractual obligations with our partner that we did not find out about until early summer, the fact that we want to make this different than most Division I MTE’s, and truth be told (and this is completely mine and my father’s fault) we thought that by giving you 20% of ticket sales,that you had personnel in place,to assist in pushing ticket sales.

Again,that is all on us. […]