Michael R. Frey's organization, the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority, is not authorized to speak for me or others who reside in Northern Virginia who would rather have technical education (such as three more Thomas Jefferson quality high schools) subsidized by taxpayers than subsidize another class-action lawyer's attempt to find fame through taxpayer-assisted sports team ownership ["The Pitch for Northern Virginia," Close to Home, Sept. 5].
Frey's pitch for a big league baseball team in Fairfax County is a knuckle ball because nobody, not even the catcher, knows which way the ball will move. Will it aid technology by driving the last Northern Virginian into telecommuting? Will it aid Northern Virginia parents in their pursuit of educational excellence for their children by draining our tax base for the gain of boosters? Will it encourage technically capable individuals into relocating here? Will it fool savvy entrepreneurs into increasing their investment in this area? I think not.
Fortunately, the Virginia Stadium Baseball Authority shares a bureaucratic attribute with other authorities such as the Virginia Department of Transportation -- that is, it appears to be named for the thing that it is designed to prevent.
-- John J. Farrell
Fairfax County Supervisor Michael R. Frey delivers a political curve ball favoring Northern Virginia as home for a Major League Baseball franchise. It's true that the demographics are impressive and make a good business case, but he avoids the funding issue, not to mention a stadium's effect on congestion in an already overburdened public infrastructure. In case anyone hasn't noticed, major league sports franchises are big business. Why else would Daniel Snyder pay $800 million for the Redskins?
If the numbers make sense, then Virginia will have its baseball. But free enterprise does not mean that taxpayers have to be saddled with stadium debt and increased traffic so that team owners get to take home more money. Let the owners carry the full burden of the business, and let the open marketplace determine the final outcome.
Aside from dedicated baseball fans, who are the "we" to which Frey refers in wanting to bring baseball back to our area? I don't recall any groundswell of public support for this enterprise. In fact, past debates show that Northern Virginia businesses, residents and commuters are more interested in dealing with the problems of three decades of unbridled growth than in footing the bill for a publicly financed stadium and continuing the vicious cycle of poorly managed growth and increasing congestion.
Frey and his associates need to put more effort into solving our problems before encouraging public investment in an endeavor that will only make matters worse.
-- Paul Deceglie