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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Strib - West Metro Edition's Sam Carnes Carries Water on Stadium Boondoggle

From a reader tip.

Did you read Sam Barnes (Strib West Editor) editorial in the West edition today on the Twins. He goes into the "feelings" stuff about the Twins and its identity to our state and whatever city they end up in and the "good" professional sports do for our economy etc... He is asking for people to share their thoughts on this - which I thought was good. Your readers, especially west suburbanites, should share, share, share. I might send in something.

I do not get the west metro edition of the strib, so I did not see this. Here's the editorial.

With apologies to 3M, General Mills and, yes, even the Star Tribune, I never associated them with Minnesota until much later in life.

When I thought Minnesota, I thought of the Twins and the Vikings.

I also remember from my childhood years how the state of Virginia spent a lot of money buying gobs of TV time to promote its "Virginia is for Lovers" campaign. It was trying to woo tourists to its wealth of historic sites and boost the image of the state in general.

None of that, though, carried the cachet of the Twin Cities' twin coup: landing both the old Washington Senators and the newfound Vikings during the early 1960s.

To those who dislike pro sports and some of the less appealing aspects of grown men's games (such as cruises on Lake Minnetonka), it must be galling to consider their reach. But professional sports do more to boost a city's image than all the "Virginia is for Lovers" ads you could ever buy.

Mainly, they tell the world that pays attention to sports -- a large percentage of the population -- that a city is big enough and has its act together enough to support a pro sports franchise. And that in turn hints that there is a lot more going on in the city as well.

But is that worth spending tax dollars to help build a stadium?

Contact the writer at 612-673-7840.

This economic development argument is based on emotion. It does not hold water. In fact the Twins quit using this argument last summer. See also the Cato Institute report on this topic.

Give Sam Carnes a ring or an email..... He's also asking for email feedback.


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