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December 16, 2005

A downtown fallacy

John Thiesman of Gardner, Kan., (11/29, Letters) touted the idea of building a downtown ballpark in Kansas City as “a type of project with a proven success record.” He criticized the suggestion of building a rolling roof at the existing facility.

I agree with him about the roof, but I question that downtown ballparks have “proven success.”

It is probably true (but not assured) that a ballpark would invigorate downtown. But that invigoration would come at a cost to businesses that are not downtown. Such activity would not be an economic gain to the Kansas City metro. It would just transfer business from one location to another. And if a business relocated to downtown, that would cause a reduction in overall tax revenue, since the new location would be tax-abated.

Since Theisman wouldn’t be paying taxes to fund either project if it were built in Missouri, perhaps building the ballpark in Kansas would appeal to him.

Brian Ticknor
Kansas City



Brian- the point is- what is your alternative? If you want one or both teams to leave town, fine. If you want a band-aid solution, which would ammount to a more expensive Kempr Arena fiasco, fine. But I bet if most people were given the choice they would like to see at least ONE new facility for the hundreds of millions K.C. is going to have to pony up in order to stay major league.

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