Friday, December 14, 2007

The Illinois Cubs?

First let me say that I agree with almost everyone in thinking the idea of the State of Illinois buying Wrigley Field is just nuts. I’m not sure how serious this idea really is, but it is crazy.

The Southern Illinoisan has an article on the issue which quotes one downstate Republican lawmaker after another denouncing the idea as “absurd”, “unbelievable” and “ridiculous”. But toward the end of the article, this gets thrown into the mix:
In Southern Illinois, Blagojevich did funnel $3 million in state funds toward the construction of a minor league baseball park in Marion.

But, state Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, said there is no comparison between that project and buying a ballpark in Chicago that could sell for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Now hold on Mr. Bost. Is there really “no comparison”? If you take that $3 million relative to the population of Marion is it really proportionally out of line with the cost of Wrigley Field relative to the population of Chicago? I’m too lazy to do the math, but I think it’s a valid point. Sure it’s not exactly the same thing (the state has no hand in running the Marion ball field, for example) but Southern Illinoisans might want to watch just how loudly they howl about this lest a certain level of hypocrisy be revealed.

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