Sunday, March 31, 2002

IT TAKES A BALLPARK VILLAGE
The St. Louis Cardinals' owners, are in the midst of trying to get the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri to help them build a new ballpark to replace the completely adquate and still charming Busch Stadium downtown. Since they can't credibly threaten to move, they've had to make some concessions, including a promise to buld a "ballpark village" downtown by the nes stadium. This will help "revitalize downtown." There have been so many efforts to revitalize downtown St. Louis in the nine yeares I've been here that I've begun to wonder if it was ever "vital" to begin with. Some of the more comical efforts were those that tried to draw hot dog vendors and street perfromers dowtown, forgetting that those things are a symptom of an active city, not a cause.

The Riverfront Times, St. Louis's alt-weekly has an intersting article about the last time the city helped a team's owners build a sports arena in return for development. The result -- a still empty and un-refurbished theater in the middle of downtown.

My suspicion is that the "ballpark village" will end up in the same place as the Kiel Opera House renovation plans.
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