My position paper on the recent ‘conceptual approach’ of building a stadium on NUMMI property.
I spoke at the most recent Council meeting discussing this issue. Below is what I had to say in the one minute the Council allowed each speaker.
Much economic research has been done on the effect of sports stadiums on local economies. The results have consistently shown that ballparks are simply NOT good economic generators.
You can not provide us with any examples of an instance where a ballpark, on its own, has served as a catalyst for economic development. It simply has not happened.
You are suggesting that, in these difficult economic times, that we gamble with a large amount of money on a completely unproven economic model. This is clearly an irresponsible use of our taxpayers’ money.
We know for sure that NUMMI did not want to operate right next to a ballpark. If NUMMI had a problem with it, I imagine that any large manufacturer, or any large employer for that matter, would feel the same way. We also know for sure that some of our largest retailers did not want a ballpark right next to their stores.
I understand that these are difficult economic times. It will probably be quite a while before we can hope to win back the employment that we lost with NUMMI. The last thing we should do is put something on that site that will actually be a deterrent to a new manufacturer.