City needs baseball, big businessby Mark Walton on Dec. 31, 2008, under Edge, Opinion, Sports
I cannot believe the uproar about baseball and sports in Tucson.
The city of Tucson has 500,000-plus residents with about 1 million living in Pima County. Compare that to the city of Pittsburgh, which has just over 300,000 people.
Pittsburgh has pro baseball, hockey and football teams and Penn State University. What does Tucson have? The Tucson Toros, an independent league team, and the University of Arizona.
It is time the City Council realizes Tucson is no longer a small town where you come to die. We need professional companies, not call centers, and professional sports teams from Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.
The only reason Honeywell is here is because an airline company paid Honeywell to stay in Tucson. Otherwise it would have moved to Phoenix.
It is time for the City Council to open its eyes and realize that Tucson may have 1.5 million people by 2012. It needs to quit relying on Raytheon Missile Systems and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and bring in companies such as Motorola, Sony and other types of industries.
We need a City Council that is visionary enough to see this and start making the necessary moves to do this.
One of the first is to make Hi Corbett Field more accessible to handicapped people by enclosing the ballpark. That would eliminate the direct sunlight and lack of shade for people with medical conditions.
Right now, handicapped people are seated in front of the bleachers. For my wife to go to Hi Corbett, I would have to put a shade cover over her scooter and make a misting system that would make it difficult for fans sitting in the first three rows to see.
At least at Tucson Electric Park the sun was blocked by the building. The smartest thing would have been to enclose TEP, and the Sidewinders would have been profitable because it would have been 75 to 80 degrees instead of over 100 degrees.
It is time for change and smart thinking, not the attitude that we are a small town anymore. We can be better than Phoenix and larger. We are a big city. Get over it.
Mark Walton is an electronics technician who has lived in Tucson since 1973.