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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

No downside to a new Card's ballpark 4/1

Monday, April 1, 2002

Major league baseball is a business and people in any business should be willing to take risks. The management of the St. Louis Cardinals is willing to take the risk of building a new ballpark near the present Busch Stadium. The Cardinals need a new ballpark. Their fans would love the one now under consideration. But the Cards don't expect taxpayers to share their risk in building a new park.

Under the proposal sent to the state legislature, the Cardinals are committed to picking up two-thirds of the construction costs and guarantee to pay for any cost overruns. The remaining third of the construction cost would be financed through taxes generated right at the ballpark or in the Ballpark Village commercial complex that's part of the plan. Bottom line for taxpayers is a great new ballpark with no tax liability to go with it.

And we'd get the substantial bonus of 7,000 new jobs and $1.4 billion in new economic activity in the region. If there's a downside to this for the public, I sure can't find it.

Steve Matthews