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Travelers Don't Need to Move

I am very interested in downtown redevelopment, revitalization and any other buzzword that signifies a change to vibrant, livable areas from the oftblighted, usually eastern parts of Little Rock (Editor's Note, "No Place Like Home," July 9, 2001).

But I cannot understand who keeps talking about building a new downtown ball park to replace historic, functional, centrally-located Ray Winder Field -- or why.

Where would such a park be located? Where would patrons park? More importantly, where is the need? I have never seen Ray Winder Field filled to capacity. And what ball club would play there? Bill Valentine of the Arkansas Travelers, Little Rock's baseball team for around a century, doesn't seem keen to the idea.

Ironically, new stadiums such as the Ballpark at Arlington (Texas Rangers) are built to resemble classic, historic ballparks like Ray Winder Field.

If the city or city business leaders are actually concerned about the Travelers and the ball club's success, which it rarely seems to have in the recent past, perhaps it would build some revenue-generating skyboxes, or finance some other sort of facelift to the park, but all logic points to keeping Ray Winder Field.

And of course taxpayers would pay for a new stadium! Who else? (The Arkansas Travelers baseball club is quite unique in the world of professional sports in that it does NOT take city or state money for its operations.)

Please explain the fascination with this notion. Am I missing something?

Stephen Koch

Little Rock
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Title Annotation:Little Rock development
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 16, 2001
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