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Who will benefit from stadium construction?

Date published: 7/1/2013

This spring, during Fredericksburg City Council budget discussions, we were told that the city was on the brink of financial ruin because of the poor tax-and-spend decisions that had been made in the past.

We were told that our business tax structure was causing businesses to leave Fredericksburg. We are now discussing a $30 million baseball stadium and the creation of a new tax zone that would stick it to the businesses in Central Park. Apparently we are back from the brink and ready to play ball.

There is no money for the long-awaited completion of the waterfront park on the river, but somehow we have the money to build a $30 million baseball park.

The first thing we hear from supporters of these projects (e.g., Kalahari/National Slavery Museum) is how everyone will benefit, especially businesses in Central Park.

Really? I would love to hear how turning Carl D. Silver Parkway into a bumper-to-bumper parking lot, clogged with the vehicles of 5,000 souls, is going to help anyone, especially businesses.

The late Gordon Shelton always told me to do two things: Follow the money, and do your homework. So with that in mind, we need to ask: Who is really going to profit from this stadium, and why are we investing $30 million for a team that has the lowest attendance in the South Atlantic League?

I urge the taxpayers of Fredericksburg to do their homework and look closely at this proposal and what it could mean to our pocketbooks, our roads, and our already eroding quality of life.

Jackie Emery