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Tuesday (Stadium craziness) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball Updated: November 12, 2013 - 10:21 AM

Say what you want about the construction of new sports facilities in the Twin Cities -- love it, hate it, indifferent to it -- but you can't say there was no real justification for teams wanting to move out of the Metrodome and into new buildings. Whether the Gophers, Twins and Vikings all needed new buildings is debatable. But all of them played in the Dome for at least a generation (27 years for the Gophers, 28 for the Twins and 32 for the Vikings), so there was at least a good amount of use from the building from the major pro teams in town (not to mention the Timberwolves played there for one season as well).

You cannot say any of this about what is happening in Atlanta, where the Braves have announced plans to head to the suburbs and leave Turner Field after the 2016 season.

Now, Turner Field was never perfect. It sounds like parking, transit and infrastructure are difficult. But we're talking about a ballpark the Braves started playing in during the 1997 season, after the Olympics. We're supposed to believe that after 17 seasons, it's just not tenable? We're supposed to believe that all due diligence for upgrades and use of the existing facility just won't work? Come on.

The new facility has a budget of $672 million, $450 million of which will be financed by the county (read: taxpayers). And per that above link, it is the first of the 24 ballparks built since 1989 to be replaced.

This is a greedy public swindle at its finest.

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