The proposed downtown ballpark for the Sounds seems to be one of those hot-button topics these days. Last night was the second of three votes on the bill required to approve the deal for a new stadium. The bill passed
, though it looked for time that the bill might be tabled to the next Metro Council meeting. Passing this time, the bill must pass a third reading in two weeks and from the indications on the radio, the bill is one vote short of passing.
For a deal that seemed to be a slam dunk a few months ago, this one has certainly become controversial in a big hurry.
Honestly, I don't see the downside to building a stadium downtown. It would bring in some revenue during the summer, it would stimulate business and it would be a good use of the land. I have tried to find a downside to the whole deal and I'm just not seeing one. Of course, I'm a sports fan, so the idea of having a nice minor league ballpark downtown where families could actually afford to take in a game every once in a while doesn't sound like all that bad an idea to me. I'm all for encouraging the next generation of sports fans.
In reading about the objections and listening to the debate on the stadium, I've heard that several council members said they still had questions about the stadium. But from what I gather these are rather vague questions because not even the council members who have them can put them into words. And I do feel the plight of the Metro workers who haven't got a raise in two years, but let's be honest--if the stadium doesn't pass, do you think that will mean you get a raise instead? I think it's comparing apples and oranges really. A good bit of the stadium is being backed by several banks in the area, so it's not like there is some huge fund that is for the stadium that would be used to give the workers the raises they deserve. Also, I have to say that having the stadium come in, might stimulate some spending which would raise the tax revenue and might lead to the raises these workers deserve.The Tennesseean
has a poll this morning that asks if you think the stadium in a good idea. As of this posting, 78.2% say yes while 15.8% say no and the rest are not sure. I feel certain that number will change as the day goes along and more people vote in the poll.
I think the stadium is a great idea. I've been to a few games at Greer and while it's servicable, it's not great. I've worked for a couple of minor league teams during my high school and college years and I've been to a couple of the minor league ballparks around the country. I see Greer and I go--how is it that a city like Nashville has such a substandard ballpark?
Last year the Sounds won the Pacific Coast league. It'd be a shame to now lose the team due to them not having the facility to play in. Which is what could happen is this bill fails.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/18/2006 08:01:00 AM