Ball Park Bad Idea, Bieter Still Pitches It

Team Dave’s captain, Mayor Dave Bieter used the City Club of Boise Thursday as a forum to pitch a new public baseball park for private gain. We see it as another swing and a miss.

At the same event, Bieter recruited the audience to seek petitions asking for a referendum to allow the city authority to impose a “local option tax” on citizens. The problem with the local option tax issue is the lack of restrictions on how it could be spent once imposed.

For instance, unless specifically outlawed, elected officials could use the revenues for things like ball parks and desires named street car–despite overwhelming public opposition.

We have to give a shout out to the Statesman’s BRIAN MURPHY–and those who comment on the Daily Paper for putting the issue in perspective.

While the good mayor certainly can use his bully pulpit as he pleases, we remind him that Idaho’s Supreme Court has made it clear public funds (resources, equipment, or staff) cannot be used to influence the outcome of an election–this includes campaigning for local option taxes.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Grumpy ole guy
    Feb 19, 2012, 12:10 pm

    I noted in the Statesman article that the Chicago Cubs organization is attempting intimidation in this issue, but threatening no new ball park and lose the Cubs franchise. Talk about “outside influence” on local issues. I like baseball, I like watching “live” baseball, I don’t see the problem with the current ball park, it has parking, it has seating, it has a field.
    If a new ball park HAS to be built, let thems as need the profit foot the bill. As we say.
    Not a bad idea, exactly, but certainly not a good one. And the insistence of having it within the “downtown” area where the property tax revenues are already diverted from schools and city services support, while adding to the demand for city services just does not compute with this old grump.

  2. I have seen to many articles where cities, of all sizes, that pay to have a ball park constructed and the team leaves. I for one don’t feel we need another anything paid for with property or any taxes….Let the damn ball club pay for it.

  3. A train to nowhere now a ball park to nowhere…..when does it stop?

  4. I know time has a way of going by quickly but the current Hawks stadium isn’t all that old. Additionally, in photos in the paper pushing this idea, the stands are virtually vacant.

    Let the Cub’s pay for a new stadium or will this be another “magic of urban renewal” project, where property owners get stuck paying for something they never got to approve by any voter oversight.

  5. While I agree that any new stadium for the Hawks should be primarily financed through private money, there is no disputing that Memorial Stadium is a dump. The notion that the current ballpark is acceptable because “it has parking, it has seating, it has a field” is ridiculous. Any local high school would suffice for that low standard. A metro area the size of Boise should have a triple A team, but you can’t even get a regular season A team in here with the below standard Memorial Stadium. The Hawks average 2800 fans per game which is over 80 percent of capacity. Again, this is for a short season A team – the lowest of the minor leagues outside of rookie ball.

    I understand people (myself included) don’t appreciate the threat made by the Cubs and begging the public for money isn’t the way to go about funding a new stadium. However, I also believe that a larger stadium closer to downtown that could attract a double A or triple A team would be great for the community.

  6. California shut this kind of taxpayer abuse down via killing off redevelopment agencies (aka urban renewal).

    Here’s a link to the actions taken and upheld in the Ca. Supreme Court

  7. Grumpy ole guy
    Feb 20, 2012, 12:36 am

    Field, seats, etc. yes, that is what is needed. I watch Little League, baseball and softball, I watch the other “amateur” teams. What’s this about Boise “deserving” a team? What causes this “deserving” status, size? income level? desire?
    Guess you are just way too posh for my plebeian tastes. Hope I didn’t cause you to get anything nasty on your shoes.

  8. Baseball holds no appeal for me. Based on my occasional viewing of highlights from various games, it appears that thousands of seats are empty everywhere, except perhaps New York and Boston. It is largely a game funded by television contracts and taxpayers. There is a new location being constructed for high school football games by Boise State, a facility which has long been needed in Boise. Why not help out with this, to make it a really nice facility?

  9. The antics of Mr. Bieter in this matter do not surprise me at all. The Cubs’ dispatching of Billy Buckner to “threaten” that the ballclub will leave town if it doesn’t get a new statium is also not surprising but notable for its hubris.

    To the mayor, I say: “Let those who stand to gain come up with the money.” To Mr. Buckner and the Cubs, I would say: “Bye.”

  10. I still haven’t seen an assessment of the cost of renovating the current stadium in lieu of (in all likelihood) abandoning it. That has to be a lot less expensive than starting from scratch. Replacing the center section of the current stadium with a facility to house VIP suites and a decent press box would undoubtedly be cheaper than a whole new stadium — and it would block the sun that shines on the southern seats late in the evening. As for team facilities, move the food areas out from under the stands and renovate that area to meet those needs. After all, where is it written that the stadium has to be in Boise instead of on Ada County property?

  11. Hey Guardian, where’s your outrage at the convention center to nowhere? $9 million in the bank and the Auditorium District just keeps on keeping on, taking money, wasting it on studies and reports. Hy Kloc, Astorquia, Fitzgerald, Peavey-Derr – they’re all a waste of skin. The Auditorium District is a disaster and needs to go. What happened to that petition “Sully” and crew were circulating? When are we going to disband that bunch?

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