Saturday, December 15, 2007

Stadium close, but we hear the same tired arguments

I've heard a lot of arguments for not building a ballpark based on the idea that we could find better uses for the money. Does anyone honestly believe that NOT building the ballpark will solve any of the major problems we face in the area? Really? Is our broken school system going to be fixed if we don't build a ballpark? Are our streetlights going to be synchronized for more efficient flow of traffic if we don't build a ballpark?

The city, the county and the state have all had revenue booms in the last 10-15 years and all of these problems have gotten worse not better. So let's fix what needs to be fixed but lets not blame a ballpark for it. Let's also add to the quality of life in the area.

We have a performing arts center that that costs the county millions and for which the county is on the hook and provides entertainment to far fewer people. I'm happy we have a PAC. Private entities profit from the PAC. But let's not be snobs. Sports is part of American culture. And like it or not most cities in America did pony up public funds for their sports teams' facilities. We can't complain about payroll and the owner being cheap if we don't give him the same tools other cities have given their owners. If we're always complaining about how Miami is inferior to other places maybe we should start acting like other places.

As for the location, it's a compromise. I don't want to hear blowhards from Broward bitching about the distance. The Heat have a facility 5 minutes from the Orange Bowl and they seem to have few problems bringing a crowd from Broward. I used to live in Coconut Creek and had Heat season tickets. The drive down is against traffic. Besides you had your chance to have it in your backyard. Don't like the Orange Bowl area for the Marlins, then call your local politicians and ask them why they couldn't land the fish when they were out there for the taking.

The Miami Marlins. I like the sound of that. Keep your fingers crossed.

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