I am growing tired of the near-daily articles in your paper denouncing the benefits of a new, publicly funded baseball stadium [Metro, Nov. 10; front page, Nov. 9; Outlook and Close to Home, Nov. 7]. Except for the occasional piece, such as Michael Wilbon's Nov. 6 Sports column, no one seems to have the guts to argue the positives.
Growing up in San Diego, I saw a San Diego Padres team struggle to make ends meet in an old field much like RFK Stadium. After a voter initiative and numerous legal challenges, San Diego finally began the construction of a publicly funded stadium in downtown San Diego's East Village, an area that as recently as five years ago looked much as Anacostia looks today.
The stadium opened this year to capacity crowds for nearly every one of its 81 games. But to see the real benefit of the stadium one needs to look outside the grounds at the drastic change. What was once a center of crime, drugs, prostitution and poverty now is one of the most popular areas in San Diego for culture, shopping, dining, nightlife and living. Even as the stadium was being built, local businesses flocked to the East Village because they saw the economic advantages of being near the stadium and, perhaps more important, being in a newly revitalized neighborhood.
I came to study at Georgetown University in large part because I love Washington, but let's face it, beyond the Mall and Northwest Washington, most of the District is urban blight. This is a chance for the nation's capital to better itself tremendously, and it is an opportunity not to be passed up.
-- Robert Rose