Joe Doakes of Como Park writes in re the St. Paul City Council’s vote to fund a new stadium in downtown for the St. Paul Saints:
City Council approves stadium funding, city resident has questions:
What kind of rinky-dink stadium are we getting for a lousy $50 million when the Twins stadium cost 10 times that much? The Saints already have a rinky-dink stadium in an inaccessible location, do they really need another?
Is a seasonal recreational facility consistent with the City’s vaunted Comprehensive Plan for Downtown Business and Retail district? Shouldn’t a ballpark be in an industrial zone – as the current one is – to allow for parking and tailgating?
Why does the Housing and Redevelopment Authority have $2 million free land sitting around for a ballpark? Why isn’t that in housing? What will the HRA do with the Midway Stadium site and how much will that cost?
What “other projects” is the Council gutting to pay for the stadium? If those projects are such low priority the stadium takes precedence, why were they funded in the first place instead of taxes being lowered?
Is the City borrowing this money on “Revenue Bonds” (if the team fails to pay rent, the bondholders take the hit) or “General Obligation Bonds” (city taxpayers are on the hook for everything)?
In re that last question, the answers are simple, if depressing: the answer is “whatever will benefit the City Council and its friends, regardless of its affect on the taxpayer of Saint Paul”.
Am I wrong?