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A New, Old Idea Whose Time Has Come, Or Not?

The quickest, cheapest way to accelerate the redevelopment of Buffalo is getting a Major League Baseball team.

But it all comes down to incentive. Why would any team come to one of the poorest, overtaxed, cities in the US? Because we have an NFL franchise to barter with. A franchise which I believe will eventually move so why not use this valuable bargaining chip now while we still have it. We need to figure out how to get the Toronto Blue Jays to move to Buffalo with the Buffalo Bills moving to Toronto as incentive.

Your MLB team will play downtown in an EXISTING park without all the politics of remodeling the existing NFL stadium plus when/where to build the new stadium. That will probably get done right after the new Peace Bridge gets built as in “like never.” Besides, the last place we want a new football stadium is on the valuable waterfront—imagine a monstrosity grabbing acres of waterfront for eight games a year.

Which brings us to the next point. Eight home games in winter for the Bills versus MLB’s 81 during one of the best summers any city in the US has. No one could deny the immense impact that would have on the redevelopment of Downtown and the Waterfront. Historic sites and museums are OK but if you want people to come downtown get the Yanks, Red Sox, and Orioles in town.

We need some vision (the open minded kind) which means we have to set aside our almost religious obsession with the Bills and give Buffalo the best path to redevelopment. The NFL doesn’t like their franchise located in Buffalo while MLB has twice walked Buffalo to the alter and bolted. It’s time for our Politicians, Developers, and Bills Ownership to step up and “make it happen” instead of “having it happen” to Buffalo again. Let’s get our heads together and see if there is anything worth presenting to Rogers Communications. Time is wasting and those who would move the Bills are getting better organized.

Bottom Line: The MLB solution is faster, cheaper, and gives Buffalo the best bang for the buck.

> by Phil Parshall, Amherst

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