Letter: Just say no to spending millions on McCormick Field

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I am very serious about this. I do not want Asheville City Council and the city manager — no matter how they find the money — to be spending upward to $56 million (including the seven- and 14-year payments, including the interest payments) and including the Tourism Development Authority, which I suppose also will borrow to pay?

They really are out of touch if they think that they will continue a stadium — for 20 years of high payments — and then what? Likely do it again? To be held hostage again to the desires of professional baseball and the governor of Ohio and his son? While many of us attend maybe twice a year?

While City Council and the city manager have shown no desire to fund dedicated pickleball courts for a sport that is exploding nearly everywhere, Greenville, S.C., has numerous parks — one currently under renovation to be 10 dedicated pickleball courts and three tennis courts. These courts have sidewalks, parking, restrooms — and dedicated courts, not in conflict with tennis and not near residents to be bothered by the noise as we have here. Sharing with tennis really does not work for either sport. They refuse to do this: all ages, all ethnicities, all-skills courts where we can go at any time and play. They are not listening.

What facilities have they built that really help those around retirement age and above — those who pay taxes?

And they “want,” they “like” the Tourists. So do we, but City Council and the city manager are making a huge mistake paying this unreasonable price to keep them. Of course, the area can be used for something else, but that is very limited for other profits in a stadium in a neighborhood. I believe the Tourists even plan a concert, so “we” will lose out on that event. Residents will be blasted more if there are more concerts, and the Tourists already want two more fireworks days.

There are almost no opportunities City Council and the city manager provide to help us with the health and fitness of their taxpayers. They are not doing the job we expect. They must make rational decisions based upon “needs.”

They are probably going to do this as we lose flexibility for 20 years, as they use our taxpayer money and probably consider the TDA (not our money — but it is; it can be used for other things, too, that benefit “us,” not national baseball, not the governor of Ohio and his son).

They “want,” and they “like,” and they will have us suffer from the loss of funds for 20 years. They will pass this on after they are off the Council or off the city positions. They will still be paying. We will still be paying. They are borrowing from our future — for what?

Then they know they have shown that the city in 20 years will feel “stuck” and will likely fund another 20 years with borrowed money because they also will not take a stand. We are really being screwed.

This is insanity.

— Jerry Hinz


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3 thoughts on “Letter: Just say no to spending millions on McCormick Field

  1. NFB

    “What facilities have they built that really help those around retirement age and above — those who pay taxes?”

    I hate to break it to this letter writer, but there are lots of people around retirement and above (and who pay taxes) who attend Tourist baseball games.

    This entire letter simply comes across as being written by someone who only wants tax money spent on what benefits him. As I have said in other posts on this topic it is getting to where Tourist baseball games are among the few entertainment/recreation options average people in Asheville and Buncombe County and still afford. The letter writer’s failure to acknowledge this suggests a disinterest in what appeals to others and a concern only for his interests.

    Also, he expresses concern about noise from baseball games and other events at McCormick Field while failing to acknowledge that pickleball has created a backlash in many communities to the noise it creates — noise that goes on at all hours and not just for the few it takes to play a baseball game.


    • Jerry Hinz

      I guess I favor exercise provided by the city- for – yes–probably primarily now- seniors but as the sport grows–to be more all ages– to be physically and mentally sharper. New courts have only a few million dollars involved to get “Dedicated Courts” where we may play at any time we show up and play with anybody there– not be held to certain hours- on certain day- on non standard courts–and not limiting the tennis advocates time on their courts– Dedicated Pickleball Courts built “to standard”–and YES– hitting the whiffle ball makes an annoying noise to the residents nearby- so we really need areas a bit away from residences- with parking- with restrooms. I have many times said that we need to have courts -( not tennis courts converted with paint lines ) which can not be near residences– we need courts away from residences. As to affordability — free courts are certainly affordable- and while we all enjoy some trips to the Tourists– and the hot dog and beer specials– that is significantly different in promoting physical and mental health. While fun- the “Tourists” are the antithesis of physical health – but maybe do contribute to mental health. The point is — Asheville should have dedicated Pickleball Courts designed properly- in a location to not disturb residents– but be as easy as possible to get to for kids.. This should be a priority for our city council – who I suspect DO NOT live in the city…. Pickleball is becoming a huge sport- for all ages – having started maybe even 40 years ago- played in Arizona on dedicated courts 19 years ago- it was wonderful– sharing courts here gets us to play but likely no tournaments- hard to get to a high level of skill with the nets not being to standard– disturbing the neighbors- and conflicting with those who want to play tennis- which was never the intent.. Thanks for the note.. Oh- and I want tax money spent on what benefits our citizens .. the Tourists do- but the price far exceeds the fun– $36 to $52 million total ? For a minor league team that the news reports even major league care little about so few players come from them- to the majors. It’s a gamble of a billionaire Governor of Ohio and thanks to this council- he has been ingratiated enormously– on the backs of us– the taxpayers – thru this council- who has yet to explain what will NOT be done now— so – Council– you did the couple million a year – for 20 years- binder on our taxpayers and TDA/ Buncombe county– so when do we get what thousands want here— Dedicated PB Courts – as I think Greenville – SC-has multiple parks now with them- and we have——— NONE.

      • Zodwa

        And the facility is only used for half of the year. Pickleball courts would be use 24/7. This city PROMISED the pickleball players the abandoned basketball courts on Gashes Creek Rd, adjacent to the Recreation Pool. It only cost 3million to do the job, but not good enough for this city, they would rather keep the Buncombe County residents happy. Activity for residents is not a priority, we just have to sit and watch someone else hit a ball.

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