Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tiger Stadium going, going, gone

Time to pay your last respects. The board of the city's Economic Development Corporation voted today to demolish what remains of Tiger Stadium within the next few weeks.

Why the sudden urgency? A spokesman cited "safety and security concerns" and the desire to make the site "more attractive to potential developers without the leftover structure." This rational would hold more water if a) the city were paying for security or b) there were potential developers. In fact, there are no developers lined up, and the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy has been covering the security costs for the past eight months. The city just prefers an empty lot. And with Michigan Central Depot scheduled to be torn down too by summer's end, there'll be no shortage of empty lots on Michigan Avenue.

Update: Crain's reports that the conservancy is surprisingly close to financing the renovation of the stadium, making the urgency of the demo vote all the more baffling. Why rush to kill the only serious proposal for the site when nothing else will likely emerge for years?

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