I think a small baseball stadium and a healthy minor league tenant sounds wonderful for Cumberland.
So do I! But 'healthy' is the operative word here. If $7500 is a stumbling block, then the effort is already proving not economically viable. To cross the streams to another thread, I also think an Aldi would be wonderful
for our area. But that doesn't mean the taxpayers should be paying for Aldi's market research and building them a free facility.
Minor league franchises aren't shoestring operations owned by the local car dealer any more. They are big business
- in many cases owned by the same billionaires who own major league franchises. I can't think of any good reason why the taxpayers of an impoverished rural county should allow the politicians to take money out of our pockets and give it to the likes of Robert Rich
or Peter Guber
. Does anyone believe that those guys couldn't scrape together $7500?
But, I also think Marc is correct, that this idea is further down the road than the official description of the work concedes. There is some type of support already committed at the staff level, since the scope of work is being presented as a staff recommendation.
It is certainly looking that way. The commissioners are trying to play down this spending with the cover that "it's just a study." You have to understand the economics of subsidized sports to understand what this study actually means.
The feasibility study isn't mean to discover feasibility; its purpose is to create
it. For the wealthy franchise owners, the economics don't work without a "free" facility to locate the team in. They aren't interested in the economic climate here, but the political
climate - whether we are dumb enough to give them a stadium. The feasibility study indicates that the politicians are willing to spend public money for private good, and it helps shape public opinion towards spending even more of it.