A few months ago, I wrote in response to Mayor Deke Copenhaver's plans, and had many calls from citizens who agreed with me. I still cannot believe that this idea is still around. Also, not one leader in our community I have spoken with is in favor of the project.
I, like the mayor's family, have many properties in Richmond County, so I am all in favor of the stadium happening, as it will help me personally as it will stimulate properties that I own. But here are the problems.
The majority of the population is west of downtown (not central); the existing stadium does not fill up regularly; the existing stadium is relatively new and very nice; there will be no additional travelers coming to the new stadium, as our market for these fans stops halfway between Augusta, Atlanta, Macon and Columbia, S.C. (people won't be staying overnight and filling hotel rooms, as they will drive home after a game); we have a civic center that is failing; and there is not enough parking.
Field of Dreams is my favorite movie, but downtown can not be a field of dreams our citizens should pay for. I will not support any SPLOST package that encompasses funding for a new stadium. We need to find residential and commercial users for downtown to increase the tax base.