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Continued: Readers Write (May 23): Legislature, Syria, Saints stadium, arts affordability

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  • Last update: May 22, 2013 - 8:53 PM

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Midway redevelopment is overlooked benefit

As an owner of the Black Dog Café in St. Paul’s Lowertown, I carefully read Robert Grenier’s commentary (“Downtown St. Paul ballpark estimates: Just a bit high?,” May 18). Grenier neglected to factor the significant economic benefits the city will realize from the vacated Midway Stadium site. While there is rightly much focus on economic development around the Lowertown site, the jobs, investment and tax revenue created at the Midway site are equally important to the city.

Midway Stadium sits in the middle of a very successful, job-generating business park. The Port Authority expects some $15 million in private investment in new buildings on the Midway site, producing $600,000 in property tax revenue and leading to the addition of perhaps 300 jobs.

So what we really got is a two-for-one deal: A prime development parcel to generate private investment and tax revenue, and a ballpark that reclaims a polluted site, connects downtown to the Vento nature area, spurs investment, increases vitality in Lowertown, and provides a great venue for the Saints and amateur baseball.

What’s not to like?


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If you look, there are plenty of local bargains

A recent letter drew a link between ticket prices for a touring Broadway musical and reduced access to the arts for ordinary citizens and their families.

It’s indeed crucial that the people of Minnesota be able to afford to attend the arts, both for their own enjoyment and for the health and future of our culture and society —the priorities reflected in our state’s remarkable Legacy Amendment reflect this commitment. And for the $300 price tag the letter writer cited for a pair of tickets, there are many other ways to attend the theater in the Twin Cities.

At the Guthrie Theater, for instance, there are season ticket packages that would enable two people to see all nine plays of its upcoming season for less than $300 in fact, every play at the Guthrie this current season has a lowest ticket price of $30 or less, before any discounts for students or seniors or rush lines. Even for “A Christmas Carol,” often the Guthrie’s hottest annual ticket, $300 on average would purchase four adult and four children’s tickets for a family outing.

The Guthrie isn’t alone: Upcoming shows at Twin Cities theater venues including the Ordway, the Jungle Theater, Park Square Theatre and the family-oriented Children’s Theatre Company offer a wide range of entertainment in a roughly similar price range.

The letter writer’s point that individuals can be priced out of enjoying the arts, to the detriment of all of us, is a very good one, and worthy of wholehearted agreement. How fortunate, then, that we live in a community with so many options in the arts that are affordable, accessible and world class in quality.

QUINTON SKINNER, Director of Communications, Guthrie Theater

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