Thursday, December 05, 2013

Drawing diddly-squat from the Sulphur Dell deal

The Nashville Scene's editor, Steve Cavendish, explains why the perceptions that the Sulphur Dell deal are good for North Nashville and for our city are just plain wrong:

And let's be clear ... it's not a very good deal. In the absolute best case scenario, the city is spending at least three times the total value of the baseball club on a new park and banking on tax money from adjacent developments to limit the city's losses to just a few hundred thousand dollars per year. Would we spend $3 billion on a Titans stadium with the franchise only worth $1B? ....

Spending tens of millions of dollars should, at a bare minimum, be about the city not losing money. If the Sounds can't make money, that's the team's problem, not the taxpayers. And if Nashville is subsidizing the deal so that Frank Ward and his New York ownership group can make their money that way, well, that's not really what the city is here for, is it? ....

The [council] representatives from North Nashville, long ignored by the Dean administration in favor of flashier projects elsewhere, are behind the project 100 percent. And I get that. It still doesn't make it a great deal for North Nashville. And since it's costing the city money, it's not going to translate into any more transit, housing, services or anything else for that part of the city.

Again this deal smells of desperation when our city should be negotiating with ball club owners from a position of strength. We do seem to be giving too much away and putting ourselves on the hook with so little of the Sounds' skin in the game.

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