The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Boston Convention - the cost of overruns?
If I understand it aright , the Dems - the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC), to be precise - have hired the FleetCenter as is from owners New Boston Garden Corporation ; and have themselves contracted with Boston company Shawmut Design and Construction  to be construction managers of the project to convert the location for the Convention.
I see no mention of any performance bond or completion guarantee - perhaps with an agreement like this, such things are standard. If the DNCC is covered for cost overruns due to labour disputes, the Globe hed, Delays could prove costly for DNC might be a tad misleading. (Though not all costs are financial; and consquential loss - perhaps meeting excess costs of broadcasters for a shorter than agreed period for them to set up - might not be covered.)
It also doesn't state how many hours a week the site is being worked, according to the original plan: obviously, the closer to 168 hours, the less scope for additional overtime working.
It's not something one can second-guess - as is patently obvious, I certainly couldn't! But I suspect that the amount of slack in the schedule - and when and on what jobs the slack is forecast to arise - may affect the gaming of the City's dispute with the cops.
The overruns have already started: the Globe on May 13 says
One convention organizer said that the production figure, originally pegged at $5.9 million, has exceeded $8 million and that the construction cost estimates, once pegged at $7.2 million, now top $10 million.
Considering the management contract was only let at the end of January, this is a pretty fancy rate of inflation!
David Passafaro, Chairman of Boston 2004 
insisted that the final budget is not complete and that no game plan has been developed for finding the funds or cutting back on construction and production plans for the FleetCenter.
The 2000 convention had an overrun of $7 million, apparently.
I suspect that the financial costs of further overruns arising from the police dispute would be bearable, even if the DNCC had to pay. And that, one way or another, the venue will be in some state to open the Convention on schedule on July 26. But if, in order to get it in that state on time, corners have been cut that piss off those thousands of broadcasters, journalists, delegates crammed into the place - think temporary failure of the air-conditioning - one can see a sour tone developing.
And, since the Convention serves no other purpose than convey the positive tone of a winning team...
I had overlooked in my pleasure at remembering the Kambon fake photo connection (Note 3 above) that his partner in deceit was none other than Councilman Chuck Turner (also Note 3). The Boston shakedown industry is a rather small world, it seems...
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