Letter: Tourists should find other funding

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Safe at Home? A Look Back at Asheville’s Precarious Pro Baseball History,” Jan. 18, Xpress:]

I much regret the current trend for municipalities to pay for fancy stadiums on behalf of professional sports teams. I would say: Let the Tourists’ organization pay or let another municipality step in to foot the bill.

With a major league team, at least there might be some plausible argument that it helps the local economy — not so for minor league baseball.

I don’t mind having a minor league team here and may even go to the games sometimes, but I don’t think it makes sense for taxpayers to foot the bill.

— Lou Lieb


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3 thoughts on “Letter: Tourists should find other funding

  1. indy499

    Nice of you Lou to say, “I don’t mind having a minor league team here.”

  2. NFB

    While I do believe that the DeWine family should foot a bigger portion of the costs, especially since they have been renting to stadium from the city for all of one dollar a year, it is inaccurate to claim that minor league baseball does not contribute anything to the local economy.

    In any case, Tourist baseball represents one of the increasingly dwindling entertainment and recreational options that is affordable for average citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County. A game for a family of four would barely make for a down payment at most concerts downtown, (90 bucks to see Sylvan Esso and Rabbit Rabbit, owned by that champion of the proletariat, Kim Roney? Seriously?) and don’t even think of the bank loan needed to get tickets for the Biltmore House or the concerted effort by Grove Park Inn to keep the local yokels away from the annual gingerbread house display with its hefty parking fee.

    Certainly the city and the country should not pay for those improvements to the stadium that the DeWines want which are NOT part of the MLB requirements, and the TDA should pony up a good chuck of the overall costs, there is more going here than this short letter suggests.

    • SpareChange

      “In any case, Tourist baseball represents one of the increasingly dwindling entertainment and recreational options that is affordable for average citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County.”

      To me this is one of the strongest arguments justifying public funds being used for a part of the improvements. I think many folks lose track of how much public money already goes directly or indirectly into subsidizing all kinds of facilities other than those which are purely public or non-profit. If it’s OK for tax dollars to go into a venue which hosts the likes of Bob Dylan or Billy Strings @ $100 per seat, I can justify picking up a part of the tab for supporting a minor league home team (even if I’m not fond of the politics of the owners). Thanks for reminding us that there are a range of possibilities between a strict, “yes” or “no” on this issue.

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