Get behind downtown stadium idea

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Regarding the proposed new baseball stadium: I was trying to think of any negative consequences if the GreenJackets' stadium was moved downtown. I'm stumped. I can't come up with anything!

Let's put it to the old fashioned pros-and-cons test. Cons - none, that I can think of, but those who disagree with this idea may have a few:

- General obligation bond. If Cal Ripken and Major League Baseball are willing to invest in Augusta, shouldn't we be willing to invest in it ourselves? Plus, you'll be able to see where the money is going and enjoy the stadium for years.

- What's wrong with the current stadium, and what will happen to it? Probably very little is wrong with the current structure. Certainly it's better than the wooden bleachers that used to be there! There are numerous uses for the stadium: charitable organizations, youth baseball, high school games, regional/state games, Augusta State, Paine - the list goes on and on.

Pros - too many to mention here, but they all add up to a winning score for downtown Augusta. The ability to walk to games for current and future downtown residents seems quite appealing. What about folks from Evans or other surrounding areas? How about coming downtown, parking, having a family-friendly dinner and walking to a game?

Really seems to be a win for everyone involved - ownership, baseball but especially the local community. Sooner or later we have to support good ideas for our area. If we aren't willing to take advantage of these opportunities, someone else will - and we'll be left to wonder what could have been.

Graham Hill, Augusta

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Da Voice Inside Your Head
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Da Voice Inside Your Head 06/27/07 - 12:25 am
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The taxpayers already footed

The taxpayers already footed the bill for the Golf Hall of Shame. Now you want to destroy all those Beautiful Flowers and replace it with, Gasp, a Baseball Stadium! How dare you! Replace all that beauty, peace and quiet with noisy beer swilling basball fans? What are you thinking? YOU CAD! Right. Another waste of taxpayer money. If it's such a great idea, use YOUR MONEY. The city needs a whole lot of NECESSARY things before it wastes money on a second baseball stadium.All that junk about future Downtown residents, Evans folk coming for a game and dinner? Fat Chance. Somebodys pipe dream. Reality is a bummer isn't it? We've tried that build it and they'll come thing too many times. They ain't come yet. Bummer.

bigbert9980
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bigbert9980 06/27/07 - 01:36 am
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What things we tried and

What things we tried and people didn't come to.Why are you being so negative, how much money do you think of your own personal tax money is being used, very little!! What do you suggest to help bring more people downtown DaVoice or is it you just don't care and if you don't then you might be in the wrong place.

Da Voice Inside Your Head
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Da Voice Inside Your Head 06/27/07 - 06:28 am
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My first choice would be a

My first choice would be a Casino Complex, like Atlantic City but on a smaller scale. But being this is the Bible Belt, there's little chance of that happening.Why do I sound so negative? I've lived here for most of my life and have seen millions of $$$ wasted on brillent ideas while needed services are cut. It's all a matter of priorities. I'd like to see Downtown thrive again. I remember going to the Miller or Imperial Theaters to see a movie with my big sister, shopping at H.l. Greens and the chocolate shakes at Kress's. Downtown used to be the place. But that was a different time. I personally hate the Malls.But while I miss Downtown as it used to be, it's just buildings and sidewalks. The people ought to come first. Public Safety. Education.Infrastructure. In my heart I would like to see Downtown thrive again and maybe someday It will, by my brain knows there are more important things to be done, better uses of taxpayers money.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 06/27/07 - 06:39 am
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Is the current stadium filled

Is the current stadium filled on a regular basis? Do the majority of Augustans have any interest having a baseball team, much less another new stadium a few miles further away from where most neighbors are? I've been to a few games over the last 25 years, but it's not something I would do any more often with a new stadium downtown. I just wonder why anyone thinks this Riverwalk surely has broader appeal and attraction, and ever though it is put to good use by many throughout the year, downtown has not be re-vitalized by it.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 06/27/07 - 06:41 am
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It would seem that any

It would seem that any decision that is made about a stadium downtown would depend on the size of Ripken's commitment and his financial ability to back it up. Personaly, I cannot see the city building a new stadium for a class A minor league team. I also cannot see the city using valuable real estate for that purpose without a guarantee from baseball. As Da Voice has said we need to prioritize our needs.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 06/27/07 - 06:49 am
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Don't forget that they've

Don't forget that they've already said that you will have a 10 minute walk from the available parking to the proposed stadium.
Until public safety is improved by several tall leaps and bounds, I wouldn't attend anything there. And what about handicapped parking and access?

jleyes
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jleyes 06/27/07 - 07:58 am
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In order for the city to have

In order for the city to have a vibrant city center it desperately needs a catalyst. The ballpark with 70+ baseball games and hundreds of other non-baseball programming events will draws 300-500K people to downtown that wouldn't be coming otherwise. Not just for a year but yearly. They said it wouldn't work in Dayton, OH, Greensboro, NC, Greenville, SC, Montgomery, AL, Memphis, TN, Chattanooga, TN etc...and the nay-sayers were proven wrong time after time after time. This ballpark is the first key componet to magnetizing downtown, it will bring thousands of families and young people for shopping and entertainment. Have some vision and see that doing nothing is plain luanacy and building another condo development and shopping without a magnet will achieve nothing more then what you see now. BASEBALL BELONGS in the DOWNTOWN not the outskirts. Lake Olmstead can never do this for the city, it's location and drawing power are lost in it's neighborhood and egress.

coco rubio
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coco rubio 06/27/07 - 08:06 am
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the stadium.....the

the stadium.....the renovation of the jb whites building.....the new BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRCIT money being spent on security & improvements.....the WESTABOU festival.......all these things will benefit downtown augusta in a positive way........we are lucky to have baseball's iron man hall of famer on our side!!!! all you naysayers need to get out of the burbs a little......it's your city.....and community.....make it better for future generations......

sjgraci
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sjgraci 06/27/07 - 08:25 am
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Casinos and theatres: what

Casinos and theatres: what liberal ideas you have. Build the stadium, build the convention center, build a new arena, build a new arts center, build a new library, build new condos, and build them downtown. Oh, and find a way to save the Gardens... A casino on the river... hmmm...

deekster
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deekster 06/27/07 - 08:33 am
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Wasted money!!!! The future

Wasted money!!!! The future is black. The city of Augusta was given to "black power" in May of 1970. The black leaders can not give back that power they gained from the riots and burning. The only ones in favor of pouring more of taxpayers dollars into downtown are the ones who will reap a monetary benefit. Some will settle for "autographed baseballs" and "rounds at the national". Other will advance their political careers. Yes we saw the baseballs, "Dekester". Did Cal pat you on the head , too?

getalife
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getalife 06/27/07 - 08:54 am
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Why build a new stadium when

Why build a new stadium when the current one does not fill to capacity, and building it farther away from the west side of Augusta will not increase the attendance. Use the current stadium and not waste more of the taxpayer's money!! The downtown area is not safe after dark, too many groups just standing around and not enough police in this area.

coco rubio
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coco rubio 06/27/07 - 09:18 am
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(stay in the 'burbs)

(stay in the 'burbs) downtown will be a better place without you......

AsItIs
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AsItIs 06/27/07 - 09:36 am
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That fact that we have any

That fact that we have any successful "club" in consolidated Augusta is amazing in itself.....The Jacket's are the one thing that ain't broke....compare to public safety, transportation, sanitation...the commission....why are we trying to fix baseball? Maybe Cal should run the city, too......

johnrdupree
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johnrdupree 06/27/07 - 09:58 am
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Coco, you hit that one right

Coco, you hit that one right on the head. My fear is that the DDA and the commission are focused on marketing downtown to people who belong in the burbs. Downtown should be for originality, diversity, and charisma. Let the plastic people stay in their plastic neighborhoods out in the boonies of Columbia County.

coco rubio
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coco rubio 06/27/07 - 10:49 am
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it just gets so old so

it just gets so old so fast....the "columbia county -vs- augusta" thing.....especially if you consider that these posters are complaining about spending tax payer money......and they don't even live in richmond county.....!!!......i'd like to think that a vibrant downtown augusta is a benefit to all the citizens of the CSRA....and tourists too.

johnrdupree
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johnrdupree 06/27/07 - 11:13 am
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To me it's not an us -vs-

To me it's not an us -vs- them thing. It's that downtown is not the burbs, so don't try to turn it into the burbs. Downtown will never be the place for Wal-Mart or CVS or Olive Garden. Where would you rather eat, Nacho Mama's or Moe's? Don't look at Columbia County for ideas on growth, look at Atlanta neighborhoods like Virginia-Highlands, Midtown, Little Five Points, East Atlanta. All of them started their rejuvenation with the free thinkers and oddballs and only later got invaded by big boxes. Downtown has the chance to become something unique and vibrant and fun. Just don't invite Starbucks.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 06/27/07 - 11:28 am
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Put a WalMart where the

Put a WalMart where the chamber building is now located and they will come. Anything else that is built downtown will be pure speculation.

Ken
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Ken 06/27/07 - 12:13 pm
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The only place to relocate

The only place to relocate the stadium is off 520, downtown. The development of that area near downtown is convenient for the people of Columbia County as well as any traffic from North Augusta, bringing more people into downtown. Redevelopment of that downtown area requires planning, something new to the Richmond County Commission. If the Stadium were to become the nucleus of a redevelopment plan then expansion from without would play off that stadium and spread throughout the current decaying areas making downtown more attractive to a wider audience. Go get some State funds or float some bonds, but do something and stop talking about it.

countrygone2city
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countrygone2city 06/27/07 - 01:34 pm
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nice back and forth here.

nice back and forth here. just as it should be. those who think downtown is unsafe should realize that as you develop your downtown corridor, the "nare-do-wells" and hooligans will move on because of growth and lack of a place for them to loiter. also, increased business will increase sales tax dollars and help revitalize a once flourishing area. those who dislike the downtown area don't have to go down there. instead of lobbing insults at people trying to better your community, you should really get out of town once in a while and see the merits of revitalized downtown corridors. one important thing that is being overlooked is your natural resource, the savannah river, you can't relocate that out to the burbs! take a walk in downtown chattanooga and see what tax dollars and private funding are capable of providing. the problem with most of the "anti-downtowners" is they've never left town to see what else is out there, don't be so narrow minded. hey DaVoice, so what if people start using the downtown area more, they're not going to bother you in your trailer. maybe you should do some beer swilling yourself and loosen up a bit, might do you some good.

Da Voice Inside Your Head
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Da Voice Inside Your Head 06/27/07 - 02:19 pm
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Con2city, I was trying to be

Con2city, I was trying to be sarcastic, but I can see it went right over your pointed head. They can spend all the money downtown when everything else in the county is up to snuff.But we have a perfectlly good stadium at Lake Olmstead. Develop that area. That's also part of Augusta. I live in a house thank you. But i'm sure you don't know what that is, living on a pig farm and all.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 06/27/07 - 02:46 pm
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Without offending anyone I

Without offending anyone I would like to point a concern that I have about a stadium or any other investment that the city might undertake. We have invested millions into the river-walk area. Anyone would be proud of it. However, I was down there recently and to my shock and amazement it is beginning to deteriorate from lack of maintenance. What makes any of you that favor a stadium think that the city will not neglect a new stadium?Go to Magnolia Cemetery and you will see the same kind of neglect. This is typical of lack of attention that Augusta gives its assets. I have seen other cities as all of you rebuild the downtown areas but they are not Augusta. I love Augusta, it has been my home for over 80 years but I have to face the fact that we have a stagnant situation and will be until our political scene is changed.

whatsupwiththat
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whatsupwiththat 06/27/07 - 11:06 pm
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Simply put, the city of

Simply put, the city of Augusta does not revolve around Downtown. When the city and county consolidated and assumed the enormous debt of the city (all ~42,000 people), we assumed not only the debt, but the ignorance that we do not seem able to overcome.

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