Who would have thought it? Bill McClellan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and I agree on something: the owners of the St. Louis Cardinals played the civic “leaders” like ballpark organs:
Not so with a ballpark. If developers thought a Ballpark Village were a great idea, they would have built a village around the old ballpark. They didn’t. So when the Cardinal owners wanted some financial help for their new stadium, they promised – and put that promise in writing – that they’d also build a Ballpark Village. This would be a big plus for the revitalization of downtown.
Now comes the word that yes, the Cardinal owners could live up to that promise, but the Village would be a lowercase sort of place: ballpark village. Doomed to failure. Who wants to live in ballpark village? On the other hand, the city could have something spectacular – three times the size of the original plan – but the taxpayers are going to have to help out again. Maybe $100 million or so worth of help.
Perhaps these crony capitalists are serving a function for the greater good.