Wednesday, August 23, 2006

As baseball fans, the argument about a new stadium interests, and concerns, us. Does no one remember that a similar group proposed a downtown stadium immediately AFTER the good fight had been won for the present stadium financing? Talk about too little, too late.

I have to admit I'm rather stunned by the tunnel-vision enthusiasm of the BaseballPlus group. As potentially fun as a downtown stadium could be, and notice I said potentially, as a taxpayer I'm absolutely appalled that these folks even TALK about tearing down the stadium we have. Sure it could use renovations, and it depends a little heavily on the cement school of architecture, but structurally...what a waste to tear it down! Like throwing money out the window.

Rather than depend on replacing the soon-to-be paid for stadium we have, that, let's face it, is only used five months a year, let's come up with ideas that could be used year-round--an ice-rink facility, a baskeball facility, an aquarium, an indoor waterpark/resort type thing--and let's have some easy-to-use, cheap transportation between ALL the active areas of town: Jefferson Pointe, Glenbrook, Speice, Coliseum, the new library, Grand Wayne.

Bob Caylor wrote a good editorial in the NS the other day--here's a short excerpt:

Why a baseball stadium? Why do the BaseballPLUS committee members present the prospect of a new baseball stadium downtown as if it is a choice between building a new stadium and seeing downtown stagnate? A new stadium - duplicating an existing community asset - can't be the only option for improving Fort Wayne's downtown. Attractive as a downtown stadium would be, the city shouldn't lunge into the project without considering other possibilities.......But we've heard many ideas for big projects downtown that might act as a tipping point. What about a water park? What about a resort hotel that incorporated a water park - an attraction that might draw visitors from a wider area than a minor-league baseball game? How about an aquarium? How about a Circle Centre Mall on a Fort Wayne scale? How about an indoor sports facility - think of the success of the Spiece Fieldhouse on the north side of town - that could be used for amateur sports events year around? Or perhaps a series of smaller residential developments given healthy financial incentives by the city? The report of the BaseballPLUS committee doesn't comb the nation for an array of ideas for downtown projects that have worked; it examines one and only one idea: a downtown stadium...

Bob is right on with this one!

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