Thursday, December 28, 2006
The Other Side
Interesting article in the Fort Wayne newspaper yesterday criticizing cities that always seem to give in to owners begging for a new ballpark. Fort Wayne is attempting to get a ballpark constructed that would the "centerpiece of a downtown revitalization project" costing $125 million. First off, does Fort Wayne really need a new ballpark ? Memorial Stadium opened in 1993, and while it may not be as glossy as other new parks built since, the fans don't seem to be staying away - '06 attendance was over 3500 per game. So why the new ballpark ? Simply because their current home doesn't have enough luxury boxes. This isn't the reason you'll hear from the owners, but it has to be their prime motivation. And if they can get a city (Fort Wayne or somewhere else) to build them a park for free, why wouldn't they take it ? I have no sentiment for Memorial Stadium, but it is tiring to see one city after another getting held hostage by teams who threaten to move if their current city doesn't build them a new ballpark. Let the citizens of the city decide, not the local politicians. But rarely do you see a city put a new ballpark up to a vote - because they know it would fail. It's nice to see for once that the local media is not taking the side of the city. Stay tuned as I'm sure there will be a lot more bickering in Fort Wayne over the next year or so.