Thursday, May 12, 2005

bjhess Blog

I encourage everyone to jump over to the bjhess Blog today, as he digs into the supposed economic benefits claimed for the construction of new sports stadia. It's thorough and thoughtful work.

With apologies to him if I read him wrong, I think he and I are in the same boat here. We'd love to see the Twins playing in a great outdoor ballpark, and we don't mind a public/private partnership to make it happen. In the past, I've written my share of letters to Senators and state officials, telling them I want a ballpark. I've sent menacing e-mails to John Marty, like a good little Twins supporter. But the more I look into the details of each project proposal the Twins run out there, the less enthusiasm I can muster to be a soldier for their side of the issue anymore. Now I'm to the point where I'd like a ballpark bill to pass, but it bothers me more to see the public getting ripped off in the deal.

Don't try to con me on the indirect economic benefits to the community. The real profits are going to be generated inside the ballpark itself; and if you want to talk about financial windfalls, let's talk about how the profits inside the ballpark are going to be divided up. If the Twins want to sell me on the economic benefits of the project, show me the money. Cut us in. Guarantee a percentage of the revenue streams inside the park. Until then, just admit that it's an emotional purchase, a luxury item that makes no sense to buy, but the baseball fan in us just wants it anyway because the dream of it makes us feel all gooey inside.


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