22 December 2006

"Hizzoner" (Still) Pitches Downtown Stadium...

And it looks low and outside....Ball one.

The $125-$160 million dollar "savior" (costs are going UP already) to our fair city in the downtown area is seeming more and more a "done deal" these days.....and after all those people said it wasn't needed, wasn't wanted, thought it's just a bad idea, yada, yada, yada... Of course you DO understand that the city will only have to "ante up" HALF of the funds, and none of it will be coming from the "general" property taxes (I didn't know our property taxes carried a RANK with them....is there a MAJOR property tax, or a PRIVATE property tax?), but that still doesn't warm me up to this (bad) idea one bit. Renovating the CURRENT stadium would be the better way to go....it costs less (the field is ONLY 13 years old), we only have a MINOR league team (it's not the bloody CARDINALS or TIGERS, people), and this "new" ballpark would only be used PART of the year anyway (that doesn't mean slap a roof on this new "arena" and jack the damn price up either). IPFW ( I Paid For What?) already is doing the Pavlovian gig over acquiring the "old" ballpark. It's like seeing vultures circling BEFORE the body's even expired!

The city (in it's lack of wisdom) has seen fit to basically TELL us what IS going to happen, all the while doing the doe-eyed plea thing, in an attempt to garner for support of this (future) White Mastodon. Not only is the city being arrogantly presumptuous, but blatantly narcissistic. It's all about THEM....and yet they try to convince us it's about....well, US. Sorry, I can see thorugh that ploy easier than a Victoria's Secret nightie...LOL!

I'm just not seeing the "big picture" that we ALL should be seeing. I'm not seeing drug-ridden neighborhoods returning to a place where people can no longer live in fear. I'm not seeing more police enforcing the laws that NEED to be enforced. I'm not seeing that better quality of life that "hizzoner" always touted for the citizenry. SO I really don't think this downtown stadium warrants any merit at this point. All it will do is put money into the coffers of the owners, like any sports venue does. There will be the revenue from adjunct items such as hotels (like people will come from Nevada JUST to see the Wizards?), parking (we already have plenty of spaces that aren't being used downtown), and retail (we USED to HAVE retail downtown...the peripheral shopping hubs, such as Illinois Rd., Lima Rd., and Coliseum Blvd. have taken care of THAT nicely, thank you very much...and the city is allowing developers to continue to ADD to those areas even more).
IF, and I do stress *if* the stadium was paid for ENTIRELY by PRIVATE funding (with not ONE DAMN DOLLAR from the taxpayer's pockets)...I "might" be inclined to say it could be worth a shot...and that's one HUGE maybe.

My take on it is just that I have seen NO improvements in areas of the city that TRULY need improving. Sure, the Hanna-Creighton area is getting the "do-over", but I can't see that becoming any type of "crowning jewel" anytime soon, unless someone takes a shine to "costume jewelry". The people there will have to work damn hard to KEEP that place looking nice, and I just don't see that happening in the long term. Many of the neighborhoods that need houses torn down, and even sidewalks and curbs go without, year after bloody year. The city might come along and "chip and seal" a pothole here and there, or might drop in a sewer line, but that's BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE UPKEEP...nothing more. It's not the "magic bullet" that an area needs to becoime a thriving neighborhood once again by any stretch of the imagination.

It might take people to make a village, but it takes a village to make an idiot...

With THAT being said, OUR village might want to rethink what it honestly needs to become revitalized. Slapping a coat of paint on a dilapidated hovel dosen't turn it into a $300K estate overnight...and that's what some city leaders think this ballpark (and amenities) will do for our downtown.

They couldn't be more wrong if they tried.

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