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January 17, 2012

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Phoenix Muni is only a half mile from the light rail stop at Priest & Washington...

A downright pleasant walk during spring training.

The question is whether Phoenix should do much, if anything, to keep spring training in the city?

Phoenix shouldn't do anything and the state and fed should add the tax breaks and subsidies to the team's taxable income.

I gave up on professional sports in 64 and have never gone back. Baseball is one of the few sports that are not staffed by thugs. But many of the players seem to think growth hormones are OK.
I think the current professional thought process begins with the parents of 5 year olds. Not much different than mothers that dress up their small girls to look and act like mature sex objects.
My background also leads me to believe that what some call big business is really Organized Crime. I sure someone could chart something up to verify such. Consequently like organized religion I go out of my way to bad mouth professional sports and not provide them my bucks.

I think Phoenix should extend the Papago Park desert terrain into where the Phoenix Municipal stadium is located, plant a lot of Sahuaros, throw in some Desert tortoises, chuckwallas and maybe even a few rattlesnakes including one named Beulah.

Whatta you think Supreme Commander, SHRINKAGE?

PHX Muni is a nice park. I enjoy going there and I'm not an A's fan per se even though I got married and had two kids within 6 BART stops from the Coliseum. My point is simply that Muni is a great facility that should not be idle. The location and quality of the venue are so great that its a crime for it to go to waste.

From David Brooks' NYT column this morning:

"I sometimes wonder if the Republican Party has become the receding roar of white America as it pines for a way of life that will never return."


When you look at spring training, it's yet another variation of nostalgia doing the yeoman labor of national mythology. It's mostly white people longing for their own youth and group identity. They've deserted the city, found solace among themselves in far-flung enclaves, and are probably happy to have their sports palaces within easy driving distance.

Phoenix can't gild those dreams now - too many brown-skinned people, unfortunately. David Brooks, who can surprise with us with insights he'll then forget in subsequent rhapsodies to suburban America, understands the pathos. The strategy is politically a dead end. But as long as there's still SS, paid-for houses, and the long dusk of national prosperity, these same folks will soldier on to the end. Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

A couple of days ago, I ventured by bicycle into Phoenix's vast west side. Yes, the linear slums are still resolutely horizontal and inescapably dreary. Every so often, there's a well-tended house that seems all the lonelier for being so rare. The retail is sketchy and low end. After several miles, I turned around because it was simply so monotonous. How does Greg Stanton fix this? I can imagine a demonstration project in which some well-meaning types do a Habitat for Humanity-style project and spruce up a few houses. But the problem isn't merely cosmetic. It goes much deeper where economically-distressed people are living somebody else's dream from 60 years ago.

When Maryvale was new, it was the American Dream. Now, it's increasingly a nightmare. There's not enough money to maintain these houses on the income of the current residents. It's not that they don't want nice things. It's not even that they don't value the right things. Their lives are full with family, church, and friends. But the American Dream as most people know it was predicated on breadwinner jobs and those are largely gone.

We have to invent a new language of community that accounts for people who were left behind. And when the nation as a whole is separating between haves and have nots, there's not much words can do to build a bridge. Republicans played on this rift in order to create a chasm. There's no looking back now.

Spot on Walter

No, I don't think Phoenix needs to throw hundreds of millions at out-of-town sports teams! Let Mesa, Scottsdale, Surprise, Glendale, etc "invest" in the teams. One thing I have noticed over the last couple of springs is the number of baseball fans staying downtown; let Phoenix benefit (for once) from increased tourism and hotel stays while not having to turn around and spend on infrastructure for a far flung stadium that is used for a few weeks a year.

I am on the fence on Phoenix Muni; it is a nice stadium but thinking of returning it to the desert and the Papago is highly entertaining. Mesa wants to connect the new stadium and Riverview with light rail to Mill Ave. An interesting idea since the suburban mall stores have left for Tempe Marketplace. Mill Ave is already regaining its independent vibe and less cookie-cutter appeal with places like Chronic Cantina, Mellow Mushroom, Big Bang Dueling Pianos, Canteen, etc etc...

Maryvale is an interesting place. One that is being Latinized at an increasing rate. Some of those lowbrow stores Walter seems afraid of are ethnic markets and stores and many neighborhoods in MV are improving; crime rates dropping dramatically. Yes, there are still scary places and plenty of ghettos. Not sure how much the city can save without tearing down and building vertically. Good thing about Maryvale, the bulk of it is compact and dense.

Correction; Mesa wants to connect Riverview and the new stadium with a streetcar to Mill Ave.

Well I guess the Cubs are calling the area Wrigleyville West.

The boosters always make claims about how much money is brought into the local economy by snow birds, sporting events and tourism. I wonder how much added value Fortune 500 headquarters contribute to a metropolitan area. How does all the tourism money compare to securing a corporate headquarters for Metropolitan Phoenix?

Good thing Walter didn't get Latinized on his bike ride. My people are good at giving 9mm welcomes to hood.

I am proud as punch to be able to say that over the past 36 years I have attended countless games at ASU -football, baseball, basketball, track, swimming: Suns basketball, Roadrunners and Coyotes hockey, Rattler's football, Crudnals football, Phoenix Open golf. And I never had to pay a penny of my own money. (I realize I had to pay my fair share of taxes for these taxpayer funded private enterprises.) Still, attending all the games more than offset my tax burden.

Should ALL persons in Maricopa county have to pay taxes so that 2% of the population can enjoy the games in person? Hell no. I attended all the games with corporate tickets. Anymore only corporations can afford the tickets. Since corporations are people, that makes it OK.

Whether we're talking about stadiums, car dealerships, Super Walmarts, and such, the taxpayer should not fund any of their endeavors. However, as long as we elect whores to man the whorehouses of government, we shouldn't be surprised if in the end, we take it in the end. All I've ever asked for in life is that if you are going to screw me, please buy me dinner, give me a kiss and promise you'll respect me in the morning.

XOXOXOXO

Cal Lash wrote: "My background also leads me to believe that what some call big business is really Organized Crime."

Cal, as the cinéaste-in-residence here, did you ever see that ol' classic from '67, POINT BLANK with Lee Marvin? "I want my $93,000."

I saw Don Bolles's car yesterday. It is surprisingly intact with the exception of the driver's side floor.

TooLeeRollUm, I did see the recent French Movie, Point Blank but have not see the Lee Marvin film. Will have my guys at Hoodlums find me a copy.

The things that draw me to Downtown Tempe are the Harkins Valley Art Theatre and the Tempe Arts center. Tempe does also have Changing hands bookstore and Hoodlums vinyl music and great used videos and posters, etc.

TooLeeRollUm, where did U see Bolles car, I thought it had been moved to the Smithsonian in DC? There are photos of it along with pictures of Bolles and John Adamson in the ground floor hallway of the Clarendon Hotel where the Gallo Blanco Restaurant is located at 4th Avenue and Clarendon.

Baseball, and all professional sports, may once have been a sweet, simple thing. Now, they are an obscenity.

Find an amateur sport to follow and support. Or, go outside and play your own sport.

It's at the Newseum in DC -- I'm in exile. Don B. is also on their big memorial wall of murdered journalists. There is a little exhibit next to his car pointedly pointing out that this is the sort of thing that one usually only expects to occur in third-world dictatorships, but, you know, Arizona.

In keeping with azrebel's whorehouse theme: throwing money at corporate sugardaddies-to-be is at best a zero sum game. At worst it makes as much sense as a bunch of prostitutes handing out stacks of vouchers.

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2011/12/folly-corporate-relocation-incentives/737/

Given the advent of several new teams to the Cactus League (most notably the Dodgers)- and the move of the D-backs & Rockies to Phoenix area from Tuscon, the Cactus League is doing notably better than say - 5 years ago.
The low cost solution for the City of Phoenix would be to offer the Brewers improvements to the Municipal stadium without a complete overhaul, if the Brewers want to leave Maryvale.
I wouldn't turn a nose up at tourist dollars - every city loves tourist money! - witness the bevy of car rental and hotel taxes that politicians are more than eager to pass.
BTW - Municipal stadium is also host to AZ Fall League baseball - about 5 weeks in Oct & Nov each year - although the single/double A baseball is far less of a tourist draw.

I'm actually a bit more optimistic about Maryvale in the coming decades than other bedroom communities, like Anthem, Maricopa and Queen Creek.

PSF is correct that Maryvale has become a real Latino district within Phoenix, much like East L.A. And you can see the sprouts of good urbanism rising. There are probably more people out on the sidewalks throughout the day and night than any area of Downtown or Midtown. Transit use is high, retail is less chained and vacancy is low, community gardens are being planted, and small, but critically important improvements are occurring incrementally – such as a restorations of mid-century modern homes http://modernphoenix.net/maryvaleterrace.htm. I had a conversation the other day with a young, first year school teacher who works at Issac. No doubt, these kids need more resources than they are currently getting. Gangs, and the drug war that fuels them, are still a big problem. But, she picked up on a fundamental planning concept when she made the observation that many of the major streets in Maryvale feel safer late at night than those in Gilbert because of all the outdoor mobile vendors along the sidewalks.

These conditions are indicative of the process that Jane Jacobs termed “unslumming” and as a result, there is no conventional suburban district in Phoenix (and perhaps the nation) that is more ripe for successfully retrofitting into walkable urbanism. It’s a great opportunity for leadership to strategically invest in small-scale interventions to help grow and nurture these sprouts and heal Maryvale’s uniformity (the root problem) and create diversity. If it can be done in Maryvale, it can be done anywhere, and the returns on these investments would be especially high for Phoenix.

It always has puzzled me why the city doesn't make better use of the spring training facilities before or after the season. Last weekend, the new stadium at Salt River drew a huge crowd for a food trailer event.. can someone take a hint? I see no reason why a stadium such as Phoenix Muni couldn't be home to a minor league game. I fondly remember sitting sitting at Phoenix Muni and watching the Firebirds (pre Diamondbacks) when they were the Giants' AAA farm club.

We need an entirely new post on Maryvale, but pSf and Phx Planner make excellent points. But Maryvale needs to do some blowing out of cul de sacs, narrowing of streets, setting up some dense, mixed-use clusters, so that it has a chance. East LA and Boyle Heights have great bones from the era in which they were built. Maryvale has mirroring liabilities. A speedy LRT construction — use some imagination, people — could be a huge help and a signature accomplishment of the Stanton administration.

Yep, Cal, shrnkg (Even the word itself is shrinking!) could well begin with the professional steroid industry.

What about cancer clusters in Maryvale?

To have a better understanding of my preference for the desert over stadiums and other man made structures I recommend a reading of Richard Sheldons Poem,
"Requiem for Sonora"

New headline:

Phoenix Wins Freedom From Professional Sports Subjugation

Apologies for off-topicdom but this comments thread seems to be winding down. Not at all baseball-relevant or AZ-relevant but totally "Men-Don't-Read"-relevant:

http://peoplesdistrict.com/jim-on-capitol-hill-books

"I would give the girl a book, and tell her to read it to the poor bastard."

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