Baseball On Bull Street?

IF TAXPAYERS BUILD IT, WILL THEY COME? This website has weighed in previously against the government-funded downtown “revitalization” project known as Bull Street – joining a chorus of opposition that (at one time) included attorneys for the city. Don’t get us wrong we’re all for revitalizing urban areas – we…


This website has weighed in previously against the government-funded downtown “revitalization” project known as Bull Street – joining a chorus of opposition that (at one time) included attorneys for the city.

Don’t get us wrong we’re all for revitalizing urban areas – we just don’t think taxpayers should be forced to subsidize such projects. We especially don’t think they should be forced to subsidize them to the tune of $71 million.

Anyway, organizers of this so-called “public-private partnership” want to build a baseball stadium on the property  – an addition which would double the city of Columbia, S.C.’s current debt payments from $1.3 million to $2.6 million annually.

According to project organizers, the baseball stadium is essential to the long-term viability of the Bull Street project – a key moneymaker for the celebrated redevelopment.

“A recent economic impact study shows that Bull Street development with baseball will add $1.2 billion a year in increased economic impact for Columbia and create 11,000 new jobs,” a proponent of the project wrote for The Minority Eye website.

Really? Because that sounds eerily similar to pie-in-the-sky promises made about previous downtown Columbia, S.C. “public-private partnerships.”

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that these numbers are correct, though: Does that justify a taxpayer investment? Seriously … let’s go ahead assume the Bull Street project would have a million-to-one return on investment … does that make mixed-use developments (with or without baseball stadiums) core functions of government at any level?

No …

In our humblest of estimations, government should have the simplest, narrowest set of core responsibilities: Cops, courts, roads, bridges … and very little else.

We believe taxpayer subsidization of any sort of “economic development” project is wrong because it provides select individuals or companies with a competitive advantage that isn’t available to everyone else … an advantage that is in fact being paid for by everyone else.

That’s crony capitalism, people … and we oppose it on principle no matter how good the deal looks on paper.

Speaking of, we have a pair of simple questions for those touting these big money returns on Bull Street: If this project is such a “home run,” why do the developers need tax money? Why aren’t they raking in the private investment?


Exactly …

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Jackie Chiles February 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm

“government should have the simplest, narrowest set of core responsibilities: Cops, courts, roads, bridges ….and very little else.”

No military?

historybuff February 18, 2014 at 5:27 pm

I think he means local government. I totally agree, and some of least used bridges could probably be privately owned.

9" February 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Now that we put the mentally ill in jails and prisons,which costs a small fortune,they’re going to build a baseball stadium..? Too late,but this property should be used as originally intended.If karma exists,this will end like,’Poltergeist’.

socrates February 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Well said.

GrandTango February 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm

The mentally ill are on the streets because liberals think crazy people know better than the sane…why do you think there are so many mass killers on the loose…???

And most of them are S.O.L. since Obama took office, because there ain’t a dime extra to give them for their crack, meth and wine. Dumb@$$….

Of course, the liberals don’t give a $#!* about em…as long as they can give them cigarettes for multiple votes for democrats on election day…

Baseball without steroids February 18, 2014 at 9:22 pm

I’ve got an idea that solves both wants:

A baseball league for the mentally ill.

Yeah! I’m awesome aren’t I? *BAM!* You didn’t see that coming did ya?

“Crazy Larry is rounding third, the play is gonna be a home, Ohhhhhhh…Crazy Larry pulled out a shank and stabbed the catcher in the throat while claiming he was doing God’s work…what a play…WHAT A PLAY!”

venomachine February 19, 2014 at 8:26 am

Crazy Larry would be driving a lime yellow 69 Charger with a black 440 stripe.

Watch out for the train, Larry!

shifty henry February 21, 2014 at 6:43 am

Randle McMurphy is available to coach…..

Jay Ellington February 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

For it to fully work Cameron Runyan’s half witted plan to put the homeless population in FEMA camps will have to see fruition.

GrandTango February 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm

“11,000 new jobs.”..Benjamin would FAR outpace Obama, or any other democrat, w/ that kind of number…Look out DC…a new secular savior is born…

just Sayin February 19, 2014 at 12:45 am

wow, no #*$&$^, no @$$, no completely non-sequiter comments, very good Big T

GrandTango February 19, 2014 at 5:42 am

wow, Just Sayin…no substance in your post, just a comment about me, a lowly American…what a surprise…

idcydm February 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I’m a baseball fan and since I don’t live in Columbia I say let the tax payers of Columbia foot the bill just like they did with the ice skating rink.

GrandTango February 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

And Lexington County just keeps adding residents…

Just Sayin February 19, 2014 at 12:42 am

Wait, what? We have an ice $kating rink!?!

BrigidBernadette February 18, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Here is the bio of the woman who wrote the nonsense quoted above: Sharon Sanders is a Digital Engagement Strategist with TME Media Group
and the President of Clairvoyant, LLC which specializes in strategic
communications and multimedia services. She has a B.A. in Psychology
from Argosy University and she specializes in “Online Consumer
Psychology.” Sharon provides companies with research and insight into
the processes underlying consumer behavior in online environments…

BrigidBernadette February 18, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Search for some of her ‘affiliations’ online–it’s all bullshit! Argosy is an online ‘university,’ and the companies she claims to represent, have no digital footprint, a little odd for someone claiming to work in media! Please tell me the city is not listening to this person, whoever the hell she is.

venomachine February 19, 2014 at 8:28 am

T-bone and the Kounsill Klowns listen to whoever will validate their grand delusions.

Jay Ellington February 19, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Sharon Sanders is clearly just another minion of the cancerous mayor Columbia has cursed itself with.

JJEvans February 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm

She majored in bullshit. She must be good friends with Mr. Benjamin.

shifty henry February 21, 2014 at 6:40 am

The “Digital Engagement” conjures up worrisome images — but, yet..?!

Law 101 February 19, 2014 at 12:53 am

What a stupid and foolish idea this is. Joe Riley stadium in Charleston surely does not rake in the dough.

EJB February 19, 2014 at 7:12 am

but this time is different.

EJB February 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

Funny, the whole Bull Street thing started without even a mention of a baseball stadium and now it’s whole viability depends on it?

All these projections by these consultants always give such rosy outcomes, too bad they never happen the way they predict. No one seems to notice that, they swallow the projections hook, line and sinker.

IF, big IF, there was any true economic viability in such a project they would not even ask for government assistance. Government assistance is a major pain in the ass and they only seek it because they have figured out how to make money even though the project will go down the drain. But this is Richland/Columbia taxes so go for it. Just like the millions your skating rink brings in this baseball thing will suck wind and tax dollars. Only problem I see is that the dorks on Lexington County Council will start wanting to build a baseball stadium so they can get a couple of billion dollars for themselves.

venomachine February 19, 2014 at 8:25 am

Look at the disaster of a revitalization on North Main. Not even the buy here, pay here car lots have returned.

And how is CiCi’s doing?

Jay Ellington February 19, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Everything Steve Benjamin touches turns to shit.

Jay Ellington February 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Furthermore, you know it’s bad when a CiCi’s or KFC can’t make it on North Main.

Smirks February 19, 2014 at 8:50 am

Personally, I go see sports games all the time, both college and professional, small-time and big-time. Unfortunately, a large portion of Columbia just doesn’t. The Bombers/Blowfish never even held a candle to the crowds that show up for a Charleston Riverdogs, or when they were around, a Greenville Braves game. The crowds at USC baseball games are decent, but partly because they have a team that performs well.

If it is built, I’d probably go, but I have a feeling I will find a Riverdogs game more appealing.

jimlewisowb February 19, 2014 at 9:34 am

Baseball on Bull Street, you say

More like Bullshit on Bull Street

Fucking Cockroaches

Philip Branton February 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm

We wonder who owns the real estate around the “new” baseball stadium and the land around the “old” stadium…?

Heck, we wonder what the ground water contamination readings are for these two locations since GAS Stations used to be near by…!?

My backside…..!! This is taxpayer lipstick on a campaign donor pig…..!!!

Jay Ellington February 19, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Two words, Green Diamond. Steve Benjamin is the same delusional amateur developer that wanted to turn swamp land into a “city within a city”. No matter what the experts showed the man about water tables, he thought he knew it all. Clearly he still thinks he knows it all with his latest “city within a city” plan and he’s got Bob Hughes (the other dumbass that wanted to develop Green Diamond) roped into this nightmare of development scam. Steve Benjamin is quite secure in ramming anything he wants down the throats of Richland County tax payers because it serves his interest. He’s not working for the people of Columbia, he’s ONLY working for himself. He’s a cancer on Columbia.

Go Cocks February 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Does anyone know whether the impact study is available to read?

Are you kidding me? February 20, 2014 at 11:34 am

Considering how goddamn crazy this idea is, the former State Looney Bin is the perfect place for it.

ravenhaired vixen February 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Worst idea yet. This will be a novelty for a few years and then fizzle out just like other AAA baseball team stadiums around the country and we’ll be lucky if we can even attract a AAA farm team. Once built, it will serve as the backdrop to the Steve Benjamin Senatorial ads and then turn into a giant gaping hole in the middle of the city. I don’t trust him or Hughes as far as I can throw them! And let me guess…the farm team we attract to this stadium will most likely be from the Atlanta Brave because our politicians are big on hoisting up Georgia’s failures.

scotty February 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

WTF more jobs than the proposed seating that is truly a fucking miracle. Next thing he will walk across the Broad River to ask Lexington to help finance the POS half assed idea.

west_rhino February 21, 2014 at 11:51 am

look at all the economic development in Charleston surrounding the Joe Riley ballpark, like the Police station, Bill Murray’s condo building, MUSC parking lots and swamp…


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