Whom to believe on stadium?

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The disagreements about the baseball stadium proposal in North Augusta concern two things: land and money.

Regarding land: Despite assurances from those in charge, it’s hard to imagine that any amount of construction imposed on that pristine sliver of land will handle the thousands of cars arriving for each game without destroying the riverfront with extra traffic, noise, lights, crowds and crime. Go see for yourself!

Regarding money: The developers smoothly assure us that the money will flow, but they conveniently leave out a crucial point: Study after study has shown that, yes, money flows, but mostly to the teams and the developers themselves rather than the community. In fact, a published study of all minor-league baseball teams found that Class A teams – such as the Augusta GreenJackets – fail to provide financial benefits to their local economies. Another study found that virtually all sports economists – the scientists who study the financial impact of baseball – agree that baseball stadiums contribute so little to the local economy that local governments would do well to avoid investment.

And another study showed that those who recommend baseball franchises to communities such as ours are usually paid “consultants” rather than unbiased scientists.

I wonder why the developers don’t mention these facts at the public meetings.

The common sense of this is clear: Money flows to the baseball teams and the developers, while the community pays the tab for the stadium’s upkeep. The data is equally clear: An overwhelming amount of published research proves that the financial benefit of a baseball franchise to the community is slim to none.

So the question is: Whom should we believe – common sense and the unbiased scholars who all reached the same conclusions after decades of painstaking research, or developers and others who gain money and power if the project is approved?

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jimmymac
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jimmymac 09/10/13 - 12:06 am
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WHO TO BELIEVE
Unpublished

Spot on Mr. Giller! Stadiums for small market teams are just a feel good for politicians. None of them pay their own way. There will be increased traffic, meaning more cops will be needed. River front land could be better used and bring a greater return tax wise than to waste it on a ball park.

Bulldog
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Bulldog 09/10/13 - 07:03 am
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Spot on!

The writer is spot on with his comments. If these facilities were truly a money making operation, there would be businesses breaking down the door of the planning and zoning dept. to get permission to build them. Oddly we don't see that happening... I wonder why? Obviously the tax payers are the ones who are being fleeced!

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/10/13 - 07:29 am
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Obviously we believe the sellers of asphalt and concrete.
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Obviously we believe the sellers of asphalt and concrete.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/10/13 - 07:30 am
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History says Money = Progress. Ethics = so much hot air.
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History says Money = Progress. Ethics = so much hot air.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/10/13 - 07:32 am
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The CSRA money brokers will have it built. N.A. or ARC???
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The CSRA money brokers will have it built. N.A. or ARC???

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/10/13 - 07:32 am
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With taxpayer money. Organized crime at its best.
Unpublished

With taxpayer money. Organized crime at its best.

Graniteville Girl
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Graniteville Girl 09/10/13 - 09:17 am
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Meeting tonite!

I agree...and if you don't want the City and Aiken County Council to get away with this, the people need to show up and tell them why residents should NOT be funding the stadium...If North Augusta thinks this is a good idea, let NORTH AUGUSTA VOTERS decide... one more thing, how many North Augusta City and County leaders own property in the subdivisions involved - The River Club and Hammond's Ferry? and hold a personal stake in this project????

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/10/13 - 09:56 am
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Focus

Don't worry, Mr. Giller, about damage to the environment from traffic. It's obvious you have never attended a GreenJackets game. There are not thousands of cars arriving for each game, as you fear.

Now, as far as the rest of your letter, you are absolutely correct.

nocnoc
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nocnoc 09/10/13 - 06:52 pm
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Certainly do not

believe those selling the idea as a money maker, or that it well boost the local economy or it will pay for itself and make money.

I won't

Example:
Gwinnett Co. lost about $49 million on a stadium that was originally going to cost $19M, then $29M.

Strangely a lot of developers made out great on the surrounding land deals

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