When I think of the United States I think of freedom, apple pie, and baseball. Unfortunately, lawmakers only see dollar bills, and how they can personally benefit from kickbacks, and that’s the case in the city of Dallas.
Donnie Nelson, general manager of the Dallas Mavericks, had been leading an investment group’s efforts to repair the once beautiful Reverchon Park baseball field, but lawmakers in the city struck it down, voting 7-7. Ties are automatically counted as “no”.
Reverchon Park has been the home to one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the state (if not the oldest), and the city has allowed it to deteriorate over time, putting absolutely no money into the stadiums maintenance. I should know, I play there every week during the summer in an amateur league.
There will be no minor-league baseball at Reverchon Park. Or rugby or soccer. Or concerts. Or usable bathrooms. Or bleachers that don’t fill your back pockets with splinters. Or much of anything else, really, for the foreseeable future. The Dallas City Council saw to that Wednesday night.
Without a majority in favor — the vote was 7-7, with Far North Dallas’ Cara Mendelsohn absent when the vote was taken — the council decided not to turn over control of the 100-year-old ballfield to a group of architects and investors led by Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson. His Reverchon Park Sports and Entertainment LLC was prepared to spend upward of $10 million, of its own money, rebuilding the city-owned field and facilities gone to seed in the shadow of Uptown and the North Dallas Tollway.
That would have meant a new ballpark designed by HKS Architects, the same firm responsible for the Texas Rangers’ new Globe Life Field and Jerry Jones’ AT&T Stadium. A turf field would have been planted, allowing for year-round play — something no other city park has. The North Dallas High School Bulldogs and other city leagues who have long called Reverchon home would have shared the field with a minor-league team called the Dallas Eagles. There would have been rugby, soccer, lacrosse — live music, too.
Guess how much this would have cost the taxpayers? Absolutely nothing. The city of Dallas, and their corrupt council members, would rather the park continue to rot, than possibly give away land they could later get kick-backs from if turned into a housing or apartment development. A stadium doesn’t line their pocket books from special interest groups vying for land.
More from the Morning News:
City Hall, which allowed Reverchon to rot in recent years, would have kept the land, because it is our land. The city would own all the improvements — including new locker rooms and dugouts and concession stands and bathrooms that actually work and are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. And the city, which now spends a mere $7,000 annually maintaining and operating the Reverchon ballpark, would have pocketed at least $30,000 annually in concession revenue.
NBC says that critics of the plan say there were not enough answers about the impact it might have on existing neighbors.
“I think that’s what caused a lot of pause with a lot of Council Members, but especially with me,” said Council Member Omar Narveaz.
A deal for the park to be fixed up by a private group had previously been approved, but when the group didn’t have the money, Nelson’s group stepped in with cash ready to go.
Now this new deal, too, is gone — because some on the council believed this to be a “park giveaway,” when, as the Morning News notes, it was a public-private partnership no different than the deals City Hall has made in the past when it could no longer afford to properly care for the Dallas Zoo, the Arboretum or Fair Park.
Legends played on this field. Guys like Ernie Banks called this field home when they were growing up, and now the city of Dallas wants it to rot. That’s politics for you, folks. They pretend to care about the people, but really it’s all about the money.