Amarillo’s campaign on the multipurpose event venue is heading for the home stretch. Early voting ends Friday.
A week from today, the polls open and those who haven’t voted early will get a chance to vote on whether to build an MPEV that includes a ballpark, a place where a minor league baseball team can play a little ball for about 50 or 60 dates annually.
Have you heard about an alternative to the ballpark if voters nix the notion? Me neither.
Which brings to the point today: The Against Crowd hasn’t delivered an alternative. It has, as near as I can tell, relied on a purely negative message.
That’s expected. An “anti-anything” campaign by definition must be negative. You don’t like something? Say “no.”
On the other side of the divide is the pro-MPEV group. The leading advocates belong to something called Vote FOR Amarillo. The very name implies a positive message.
And that message is?
Well, as its leading spokesman, retired Amarillo College President Paul Matney, has stressed: The MPEV will put Amarillo on baseball’s “radar” by providing a first-rate sports venue; it will create several dozen permanent jobs and hundreds of temporary construction jobs; the bonds to pay for the $32 million construction will be retired using hotel/motel tax revenue; it will become an essential element in downtown Amarillo’s rebirth; and that rebirth will spur further economic expansion throughout the city; the MPEV could play host to a variety of activities throughout the year that have nothing to do with baseball.
That’s a positive message, yes?
Of course it is.
Those who oppose the MPEV say the Civic Center needs renovation first. How do we pay for that? With, um, public money. They contend the city shouldn’t acquire debt to build an MPEV, but don’t seem to mind acquiring such debt on the Civic Center, with a cost that will far exceed the price tag attached to the MPEV.
They keep bringing up things such as secrecy, nefarious motives, the failed master developer (who was nowhere in sight when the MPEV idea was first floated around 2006).
If only we could hear some options from those who oppose the MPEV — for whatever reason.
If there are alternatives on some hidden table, then let’s not talk among yourselves. Share them with the rest of us.
I’m planning on going with the positive message.