Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sounds Fishy

All right, I'm a sports fan. I have taken kiddo to see the Sounds half a dozen times since she was three. I want to see the stadium complex built downtown.

What is this Briley guy doing? As I understand it, a study was done, presented to the council and the Sounds stadium deal was determined to be the best proposed use of the land. Now Briley says it is not? He said in a radio interview that the stadium is not currently "water cooler talk." Are you kidding me? This thing has been dragging out for two years. I know that my friends and I talk about it on occasion. Are we supposed to discuss it every day. And what with the alternative? Is a mixed use development with a Banana Republic and a P.F. Changs on the bottom floor going to provide more chatter? He also says that Nashville is now a major league city and a minor league park somehow sends the wrong message about the mighty city of Nashville. Mr. Briley, have you ever been to New York or Philadelphia or Los Angeles or Dallas or Chicago? I hate to break it to you, buddy, but we are a small city. A mid-level market. I don't think anyone is going to drive through downtown, look at the Coliseum, GEC and then look over at the Sounds park and say, "Boy, I thought I was in a major city until I saw that minor league ballpark. Let's get out of here.

The Titans and Predator deals were not good for the city, businesswise. Get over it, this is a completely different deal, one that is being funded by the Sounds. The city just has to let them have the land. Are we really supposed to think that selling the land to the highest bidder and letting a developer build an office building on this piece of riverfront property is better than a privately funded project that will bring several thousand people downtown 40 nights per summer? And something else tends to get overlooked: This is a mixed use project. It involves condos and offices and stores and parking lots and all that good stuff other than the stadium. My thought: Mr. Briley is covering his ass in case, ten years from now, something goes wrong. That is chickenshit politics. Was there a big pissing contest about whether to give the symphony hall their land? Of course not. I like the symphony. I like baseball, too. Build it, dammit.


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