Bowing to pressure from City Council and local residents, Mayor Street finally abandoned his quixotic quest for a new downtown baseball stadium on Monday. We frankly could not be more disappointed that no side -- not the city, not the state, not the teams -- has taken the initiative to get this deal done. No side has presented a vision of how the city's sports teams should fit into the larger landscape. And thanks to the utter lack of constructive dialogue on this issue, we're right back where we started. With every other conceivable location less than an hour away from City Hall having been rejected, it appears that new stadiums for the Phillies and Eagles will, some day, be built in the vast concrete oceans of South Philadelphia. But these facilities, as much of an improvement as they will be over the eyesore that is Veterans Stadium, will not revitalize one square block of the city. They will not increase pedestrian traffic in the city. They will not spur one iota of new business growth in the city. And for those reasons, the city should minimize its share of the costs. Under its current agreement with the teams, Philadelphia will pay one third of the construction costs for two single-sport stadiums. But before the first brick is laid, the Street administration should fix what the contribution will be with the teams. When the cost overruns come -- and if the last decade's national ball park bonanza serves as any guide, they will -- the city should not pay a dime more. Ball parks are not a spending priority for any city. Things like public schools and crime fighting are, and the city should not be concentrating its funds on projects, like stadiums, from which few stand to benefit.Comments powered by Disqus
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