We talk to two St. Paul citizens who were on the ball bark tour in Denver, former DFL lawmaker Ray Faricy and Marla Gamble, jewelry designer and painter and treasurer of the St. Paul Art Collective, plus Minnesota Public Radio reporter William Wilcoxen who join us from Denver.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
(00:00:10) Good morning, and welcome to midday of Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten glad you could join us group from st. Paul has returned from a scouting trip to the Major League Baseball Stadium in Denver residents and business people at toward Coors Field and the surrounding neighborhood in Denver to try to learn more about whether a similar ball park should be built for the Minnesota Twins in downtown st. Paul St. Paul residents will be voting this fall and whether to raise the city's sales tax to help pay for a proposed Stadium the tour to Denver paid for by the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce was the first of three such excursions that have been scheduled and other group is scheduled to visit Baltimore this weekend. There's also a trip planned to Cleveland in the next few weeks this our midday were going to be talking with a couple of folks who took the trip to Denver to get their impressions of what they saw and there Opinions on whether the Denver experience has any bearing on whether a ballpark should be built in st. Paul will also be opening the phone lines for your questions. But first of all, Minnesota public radio's William wilcoxon has a report from Denver on the tour more than 5 million bricks on three square blocks makeup Coors Field the home of baseballs, Colorado Rockies, but a three-hour tour of the facility begins with a coffee table sized model. (00:01:25) This is the miniature model, of course field as you can see it's in its current design that seats over 50,000 people originally this was going to be a stadium Dave Moore the director, of course field Administration is a former Minnesota Twins (00:01:40) executive with expertise on the Metrodome and on met Stadium the Twin Cities last outdoor Big League ballpark more showed his Saint Paul visitors all of his new stadium from the coolers, where be restored to the computers that run the lights the minnesotans were generally impressed by the handsomeness of the ballpark st. Paul resident and restaurant owner Gene. Sampson would like to see something similar in st. Pauls lowertown (00:02:03) see what I'm afraid of if they don't do something like that cities like st. Paul tend to die and Lower Town will eventually start to develop a date and I think with something like this you just rejuvenated City and extending their life, you know, I'm a little biased because you know, I've got a business downtown so it would do a worlds for (00:02:25) me Samson estimates a new twins Ball Park along the Mississippi would triple the business. He does at Big Daddy's Barbecue a few among the 13 members of the st. Paul delegation said, they're still considering whether mayor Norm Coleman's ballpark proposal is right for the city. No strong Stadium opponents made the trip Mary Schmidt's chairs. Yes, st. Paul a group campaigning for voter approval of a city sales tax hike to raise more than a hundred million dollars for a stadium. She sees parallels between the Twin Cities and (00:02:54) Denver. I think the way they tried to bring it into the part of the fabric of the Downtown area and exactly what we're trying to do in st. Paul and to you know, looking at like markets as far as well. This is even a smaller Market than the Twin Cities is I think that that's that's a part of it frankly. They're not a winning team either but they were there they've been very successful in the Endeavor tonight. This will be a fresh pasta bar and a Carving Station for whatever the meat of the day and sandwiches and (00:03:31) the architectural style of course field evokes early 20th century ballparks, but it is equipped with the club seating party rooms and other amenities that make more modern stadiums lucrative for their tenants the ballpark cost two hundred and fifteen million dollars to build in 1995 the six counties around Denver covered about 3/4 of the cost by raising their sales tax the Colorado Rockies pay the remainder the prospect of bringing Big League Baseball outdoors in Minnesota is tantalizing to People such as Lupe Gonzalez who owns a spanish-language radio station on st. Paul's West Side Gonzalez says, he does not enjoy watching the twins at the Metrodome but scanning Coors Field he reminisced about his visits to met stadium in the 70s. (00:04:12) Did I remember we love it? We like to go outside with everybody making good business (00:04:17) in there. We used to go over there (00:04:18) drinking beer barbecue. Take your families. (00:04:22) We just love it everybody (00:04:23) complain now. Complaints about Coors Field are scarce even during an afternoon thunderstorm that (00:04:33) temporarily threatens the start of the evenings game. The backbone of Denver's downtown is the 16th Street Mall which connects the state capital to lower (00:04:42) downtown a walk down the mall toward the ballpark takes one past trendy restaurants chess players and Street musicians. This is a pedestrian mall that it features other modes of transportation including a free trolley (00:05:01) horse-drawn carriages for hire in the evening must occasionally stopped to light rail Transit Line pass on Game Nights. The presence of Street vendors signals your proximity to the ballpark some wave signs such as Nancy's fancy burritos. Others. Holler about savings on peanuts. (00:05:22) 25 inside the lower downtown Denver was designated a historic (00:05:28) district. Thanks in part to the efforts of urban planner and consultant Carl Seidel while showing visitors around Lodo is the area is known Seidel enjoys pointing out the details that help Coors Field blend into this historically Industrial (00:05:41) Area. Look at some of the Mystics the hanging awning the The Arches the kind of coercing of the brick work in all of these buildings and you'll start to see where the design of the ballpark came from. It came directly out of the neighborhood and it's very important about 1,500 people work at Coors Field on game days. Most of them in part-time or seasonal jobs. Garrison's can selling (00:06:16) caps and souvenir baseballs at Rocky's games since the team started play in a football stadium in 1993. He says Coors Field is a fun place to work, but he suspect the sellout crowds may start shrinking unless the team (00:06:28) improves the team keeps playing like they are now it'll start wearing out and the crowds thinned down. But yeah, they've been getting fairly decent crowd still leading the majors in attendance. It's a beautiful ballpark. Yeah saw when they were still building it keep coming. Yeah, cool. I like it. It's worth paying 200 million for a (00:06:48) Denver police officer patrolling. The game says criminal incidents and lower downtown have dwindled as the area has filled with people six microbreweries of popped up within three blocks of the field New housing in the area consists primarily of Condominiums. Some of which approach a million dollars in cost most of the artists who formerly lived in Lodo have moved to an adjacent neighborhood. Say Paul Mayor Norm Coleman relishes the challenge of fitting a ballpark similar to Coors Field into lower town or on the west side across the river from downtown. Coleman says some of the circumstances and Denver differ from what st. Paul would face which is one reason additional ballpark trips are planned. (00:07:25) There's some differences Stan first solo a western City World Wide Open wider streets larger spaces, so it's not a one for one. But if you look at Baltimore, which is a aches gonna narrow Urban setting if you'll get Cleveland a little more confined you look at Denver. I think you can pull it all together identify the best. Teachers and then say yeah, we can make this happen in St. Paul a trip (00:07:47) to Camden Yards in Baltimore is scheduled for Friday and Saturday St. Paul residents will vote November 2nd on whether to raise the city sales tax to help pay for a ballpark stadium would also be contingent on finding new minnesota-based owners for the Twins and on gaining State funding for the project. I'm William. Wilcoxon, Minnesota Public Radio. Well, William joins us now from Denver still awake my William. Yeah. I'm hanging in here good here in the studio are to folks who took the tour to Denver. They're back in the Twin Cities former state legislator. A Pharisee is with us as is Marla Gambler jewelry designer and painter and treasurer of the st. Paul Art Collective Now both. Mr. Pharisee and his gamble our residents of st. Paul's Lower Town neighborhood where the st. Paul ballpark would probably be built and we invite you to join our conversation. If you got a question or comment about the tour and what these folks saw gives call here, six five one two, two seven six. Thousand 6512276 thousand if you're calling from outside the Twin Cities, you can reach us toll-free 1-800 to for two to eight 28 r a Pharisee Marla gamble. Thanks for joining us this morning. (00:08:56) Good morning. Did you get you folks get a chance to get any rest? It was a pretty hectic goal. They really had us talking to folks who had gone through the experience told us about some of the their numbers, of course Denver had nothing to gain by our being there, but they were certainly willing to share and they I thought we got some pretty straight answers to our questions. Well with (00:09:19) them now you folks have been billed as having gone there with kind of an open mind about this. Is that pretty accurate Marla. (00:09:28) I believe so. I thought they did a pretty good job of selecting three lower tone residents and another Saint Paul resident to go. I certainly come from the most critical point. I believe mmm, are (00:09:47) you more or less enthusiastic about this now that you've gone in this tour this idea of building a ballpark in st. Paul is it seemed like a has it did it affect your opinion of that in any way. (00:10:00) Well, I went with a couple of questions that I wanted to see answered in one is what Marlon many others of us were concerned about was how does it fit? I mean, what do you do when you've got it in a area that is built up like it is and we've got a good strong artist community and they've rehabbed and we were ahead of Denver as far as where they were when they started with that building design. They had absolutely sort of a disaster area we have in place people who are living in these Lofts as they use the term out there and I came away thinking that this could fit Denver made a real strong pitch to have neighborhoods and in particularly the affected neighborhood involved in the design and how this was going to operate among the things that we saw of course is the design of it and the brick which I think would meshed very well with the with the area there which is somewhat similar to ours but they did such things as the lighting so that the lighting would not shine into the into the neighborhoods. I think the sound that emanates from a game such as they have out. There was pretty well under control. They do a lot of policing of the area. They they're they're parking I think is limited to it seems to me with something like 5,000 cars which is behind the ballpark not in the neighborhood and they re they did not allow new parking lots to occur. They said wait a minute. We have (00:11:37) as much like st. Paul (00:11:39) we've All these parking ramps and places in right now and they did the same thing. They said we're not going to build any new ones use the existing facilities that are usually available during the the nighttime so they didn't create that situation. Obviously, there are more people and according to studies even what we did here in st. Paul. We had a study maybe or wherever it was (00:12:03) called Wabasha West where a group (00:12:05) of us with the under the auspices of the Saint Paul Foundation took a look at what about developing st. Paul as you move towards West and one of the parameters that came out is get more people in the areas in your crime incidents will (00:12:23) generally fall criminals don't like to work where there's a lots of people moving around. (00:12:27) So I think they've had some effect there. I'm not going to test two I didn't do the nightlife so I can't say what it was like at after the Ballgame. There bars are open till 2:00. I can I don't know that we would encourage that type of a situation but there may be some Fallout there that could affect obviously neighbors that live but numbers of Condominiums is that weren't there the residents are moving into this area. It's not like they're being chased out but the prices are (00:12:58) pricey and it's going to affect I think some (00:13:00) of our community that is particularly renters. Obviously, the building will probably take on a new value and with that probably come higher rents. I think Marlon her group and some of her people have done an outstanding job of going out and buying the property. Obviously, they'll have some (00:13:15) real estate issues to address but (00:13:17) tax issues to address but it can it'll have an effect on our community (00:13:24) Marla. What's your what's your take now that you're you're back here. What do you think about this idea of putting a ballpark in your neighborhood? (00:13:32) You know, I have to say I'm still very opposed to the We're townsite I can imagine it. I am a creative thinker and I can imagine Gillette being gun, which we wouldn't mind. I do think design-wise course field fits into a historic neighborhood. No doubt about being able to design something that fits. This is something that st. Paul's been doing for the last 15 years. I found Denver to be about where we were in 1982 when we had the first round of development here and so for 15 years 10 to 15 years, we've been developing lower tone. The buildings are full. The buildings are also much larger taller than at Coors Field when you are on the street at the stadium. You don't hear things. It's true. You can't hear it. You don't see the lighting the upper deck is at about 52 feet, which is about the fourth floor of the building across the street, which is residential from let's say the Gillette site the lower tone site. So that when you're on the street, it's very protected. But when you're actually up in the buildings that surround it you would get the sounds. It's an open-air Stadium you would get the sounds of the stadium that sort of thing. So there is some some different design criteria that would take place. One of the biggest differences I think in the Arts community and in this happened in 82 for us by 1985 over 300 artists had been evicted they scattered they went throughout the metro area. Denver's very lucky. They have seven different districts that have artists and galleries. They have three particular strong artist districts and this area that they put the stadium in was really a devastated. It was a blighted area there to install two and three-story buildings, which is quite different than our seven and eight story whole block buildings. So if Northern Warehouse in the pilsner Cooperative are the rental buildings that are on a path to become owners of their property in just a few years. They are 60 feet from the site. There was no housing. That was disrupted of a hundred and fifty units of housing that's brand-new. That's already established. So the comparisons are very difficult. I did go out there into the neighborhood's we did talk to we stopped at the center of Visual Arts for instance. And now this would be more like let's say a Minnetonka Arts Center or you know, a well-established privately-funded Arts Center and they've been overwhelmed by the changes in the area there their classes and their guests don't come during baseball games. They have to avoid the area During certain times. One of our big concerns is how you fit into a residential neighborhood. That is also a very strong small business cyber Village small businesses within these buildings and lower tone. We need places for our clients to park. We need places for the residents to park and this no matter how you do it. It's a huge construction. Hmm. I think another thing that maybe hasn't been raised to as we're looking at perhaps a Three year construction process and I think during that things change. I mean you see what happens even on Wabash Avenue during construction processes and how many businesses go down. And so I would also be concerned about trying to reduce the impact on whatever area that you would choose to put a baseball stadium how you blend that with what's already there if indeed you value it. I think st. Paul and Minnesota everyone in Minnesota should realize that they have One of the largest established artists housing districts between New York and California. There is no other place in the country that has secured artist housing and Studio space in the kind of numbers that we do. Mmm William. I know that you haven't had a whole (00:18:17) lot of time to cruise around Denver anything but in your in your brief stay out in Denver Gathering material on this story, do you get any sense about the average Joe in Denver? Whether they're happy with having their ballpark are having paid for this thing. Yeah my sense from from the folks that I talked with who work around the area and some of them go to the games and some of them don't go to the games is that yeah that people seem to be happy with it and they don't seem to have really noticed much of a difference in terms of the cost in terms of what folks are paying their is it's raised the profile of Denver mean people people are All about Coors Field in other parts of the country if they follow baseball at all. And I think there's a certain kind of pride in the attention that Denver gets over that's Ballpark and in the success that you know, the Rejuvenation of the Lodo area there and I think one one potential difference between Minnesota there was that may be one reason people don't feel a financial impact very much is because the cost was spread out around six counties and there wasn't any any competitive difference among those six counties everybody, you know took an equal bump up in terms of what they were paying in all six counties. That would be a little bit different in st. Paul. I know there's some people who talked about the effect of of bumping up the sales tax in st. Paul because that would have an impact on you know business and whether people would buy in the suburbs or in Minneapolis or in other places, so but but ordinary folks on the street from the people I talked with are pretty happy that the ballpark is here. They just kind of wish the team would win some more games. Well that does raise the question. Is there some concern out there that If the team doesn't start winning some games all of a sudden they're going to end up with a white elephant on their hands. Yeah. I don't know if people have really thought it through to the point of white elephant status, but but I think people are seeing some cracks in this in what looked at first like just a great deal for everybody and the vendor that I talked with in that story is the one of the folks who mentioned that and and I think it's interesting point. I mean there was a huge response initially when the stadium went up there you didn't see any empty seats in the ballpark and he was telling me that now you do sometimes see empty seats and and I think that part of what that's about is that you know, the the newness of the stadium is beginning to wear off. I think another important difference between Denver and Minnesota is that Major League Baseball was new here in Denver not only the stadium but the team didn't exist until 1993 and I think there was probably a lot of pent-up demand among sports fans wanted to go to baseball games and even for non-sports fans. It was a novelty to have going to the Ballgame as one of your summertime options in Minnesota. We've had a baseball Time for some time so it from what I heard from some of the people out here. It sounds like there was this honeymoon period and people are starting to worry that that honeymoon might be ending and that once it does whether people go to the game or not just depends on how good the team is and we're seeing how that works in Minnesota. I think we want to get some callers involved here as well. Good time to take a short break catch up on some news headlines, but we're talking this our about well, we're kind of debriefing some folks who have been touring the Coors Field operation in Denver. This is a one of three tours of being sponsored by the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce sending St.Paul residents out to various ballparks to take a look at how those ballparks are affecting cities around the country. The idea of course is to find out whether or not a ball park in st. Paul would make any sense voters are going to be voting on that issue this fall joining us here in the studio former state legislator Ray, Pharisee. Marla gamble is with us. She is an artist treasurer of the st. Paul Art Collective William wilcoxon joins us from Denver. And if you'd like to call in with a question the number to call the six five one two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities 1-800-222-8477 lers in just a couple minutes the demolition of a low-income housing project in North Minneapolis has been delayed again as debate continues on how to solve the current housing crisis. Hello. I'm Bob Potter. We'll have that story meteorologist Mark Seeley and all the news tomorrow on Morning Edition 529 here on Minnesota Public Radio camera wfm 91.1 in the Twin Cities. Invitation to join us over the noon hour today second hour of our midday program. We're going to hear from Governor Jesse Ventura. He had some eyebrow-raising comments up in Duluth last week speaking at a rural Summit meeting held to discuss what the state role should be in dealing with the farm crisis. And so we'll hear what the governor had to say. Get some reaction to that. That's over the noon hour right now news headlines. Here's Mike Mulcahy Mike. Thank you Gary in Turkey International rescue teams are helping Turkish Crews dig through the earthquake Rubble for survivors. Even as the number of dead passes 6,000 a team from Fairfax, Virginia this morning was able to help free an eight-year-old boy and a woman they'd been trapped since Tuesday's Quake. The woman was buried beneath 15 feet of rubble officials. Say team members are using listening devices and Tiny cameras to find possible survivors. A huge fire at turkeys biggest oil refinery is now under control the fire which was started by the earthquake and prompted the evacuation of people who live nearby although some refused to go and chose to stay in search for a missing loved ones. There were fears that the fire could spill over to a nearby fertilizer plant with 8,000 tons of ammonia. Republican Presidential hopeful George w-- Bush is still way ahead in the polls in New Hampshire, even though he slipped a bit New Hampshire holds the nation's first primary early next year and a new poll shows 40 percent of those questioned would vote for Bush that's a drop from the 47% He had a month ago bushes followed by John McCain at 16% Pat Buchanan Elizabeth Dole, Dan Quayle and Steve Forbes are all in the single digits on the Democratic side. Vice president Gore has maintained his lead over former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley 46 percent to 28 percent that poll in New Hampshire was conducted by the independent American Research group. Well, he doesn't sing on it but Minnesota Vikings quarterback Randall Cunningham wrote songs for a new CD of gospel music during the offseason Cunningham wrote or co-wrote seven of nine songs on the CD which is called experience. The power of God. The CD is being issued in conjunction with the minneapolis-based ministry cause Christian athletes United for Spiritual empowerment Cunningham organize the gospel group that performs on the CD and he wrote the vast majority of lyrics looking at the weather for the state of Minnesota today partly to mostly sunny with highs in the lower 70s to lower 80s tonight. Mostly clear some fog in the East toward morning and lows in the 50s for the Twin Cities. We should see some blue skies by afternoon and a high around 75 again tonight. Mostly clear some patchy fog after midnight and a low around 57 right now. Sioux Falls has sunny skies 71° Moorhead is Sunny with 71 as well in Duluth. It's mostly sunny and 65 in the Twin Cities cloudy and 66 degrees. That's a news update Gary. All right. Mike 28 minutes before noon mid day coming to you on Minnesota Public Radio. And today we're getting a report on that ballpark tour of Denver. The st. Paul residents are back and joining us here in the studio. Marla can't Gamble and Ray Pharisee William wilcoxon who is covering the story for Minnesota Public Radio is still in Denver and he joins us by phone. And again, if you have a question or comment for these folks, give us a call here, six five. One two, two seven six thousand 1-800-222-8477 a set of public radio is supported by the Guthrie Theater now performing Eugene O'Neill's nostalgic coming-of-age comedy our Wilderness through August 30th tickets available 6 1 2 3 7 72224 Steve your question, please. Is a I'd like to know a little bit more about the history. I'd like to challenge somebody from the sports community and somebody from the meteorology Community to look at 97 98 and 99 home games and match that with the weather on those days or evenings. I would bet we'd find not too many days that we enjoy a game in an outdoor stadium. My question is the value of those few days that we can use in Minnesota and outdoor stadium William Denver's climate is not nearly as severe as ours is but you know, they have snow and cold in Denver where there any grumblings about that the fact that it's an open air Stadium. Yeah. Well the people who we are we're taking around to visit with on the tour certainly didn't really Grumble about that and some of them said that you know, there's a lot of nice days in the summer when people raise About how beautiful it is, but you're right the fact remains it's cold and it's snowy in Denver and today. In fact, they are playing a makeup game for an April 16th game that was snowed out and it definitely happened and they will admit that April and May games can be pretty chilly and they show pictures of opening day crowds. Everybody's dressed up in a parka if the team makes it to the World Series, it might be played in the snow and and that's a reality and it's true. I think that you know, there's been a lot of talk about the value of retractable domes that offer people kind of The Best of Both Worlds. There are a few of those but they're very expensive and and you know, the trend right now seems to be you hear this in Minnesota people like Lupe Gonzales say, I've no interest in going inside to see a ball game and if it was outside though, I would go but the other side of that coin is exactly the point to call her maid. I mean it was I looked it up before I came out here in the yellow temperature in April in Minnesota has two degrees. It was two degrees in 1962 on April 13th, which is about the time they start the baseball season, so, No doubt, there's certainly some brutal weather during baseball season in Minnesota, Marla Ray. Did you hear any talk about the weather Pro or con? (00:28:35) They did say they just wait a little while it'll change and we had a shower go through and you know, it was quite a bit of rain within the stadium. They do provide a lot of sheltered areas. They have a brew pub right built into the stadium that's open year-round. One of the things that we looked at that I looked at. If you're going to build a stadium into the fabric of your downtown. What's the gain the other two hundred and forty six days, you know, we have 81 home games and and you're going to have to live with this thing. And you know, they did they do have some stores some brew pubs. Like I say weather-wise they have enough bars in the immediate District. They had enough open underutilized. Space where they created blocks of bar after bar after bar and and sports areas. They were all filled regardless. So if it's raining people would just hang out until they were ready to go to their seats. Well, I guess the one thing I noticed something we had outdoor baseball here in Minnesota. I think a major mistake was made when the Dome was put into play. So I mean talk about history. I mean we've been there we've done it. I mean, we've had World Series here Outdoors, so it isn't a new experience to Minnesota. Of (00:30:02) course, those used to be played about two weeks earlier than they are (00:30:05) now. Well, I appreciate that there will be some kind of differences that can affect us, but I think that we had a real sense of enjoyment by being out in the sun. Let me tell you when some of the days that they've been having out there in Denver and the high 90s. I mean that may not necessarily be a great day for some of us who are fair skinned to be Dean out in the sun. But it there is history that for Minnesota and I question I have is do you enjoy going over and playing that in that an aseptically clean situation? We call the Dome. I think it has just taken all the pizzazz out of it not speaking necessarily for this but I just simply say I don't like baseball indoors it to me is just it's really bad news. Ron your question, (00:30:55) please. Yeah, thanks for taking my call. I'm a former business owner and load o YZ and 18th Street. I owned a picture framer picture frame in art gallery there and my business started going downhill shortly after the ballpark opened there every morning. I would after a ball game. I would have to clean up vomit urine on in front of my business and the majority of artists art galleries as Marla had mentioned these people Pushed out and I think it's really a concern that you really need to think about what type of diversity of any kind of economy that you want in this area because you're not going to have a diversity of economy. If you're just going to put a ballpark there and rely on these bars and restaurants that that are only going to be full half of the Year. Well, (00:31:49) I'd like to jump in there. I you're absolutely right as far as the numbers of closing. I think there were 30 some galleries that were out there. But right now they're still 16 or 17 of them and I stopped in one of them just to talk to the the staffs. Unfortunately. The owner wasn't in there at that time and I asked this individual is aware. What's this ballpark done to you and her response is well, it certainly has made any apparently hasn't affected their business, but they said we're not getting people who are going to the ballpark to to buy, you know paintings at that stage, but (00:32:22) the she did make the comment (00:32:23) she says it really has improved the area so (00:32:26) you got some pros. Cons there that are going on but there's still a (00:32:29) segment in their community and unfortunately, apparently some some people, you know did get wiped out because of what they did and they also told us if (00:32:38) I remember Marla they were talking about that the there's a (00:32:41) stronger policing area now (00:32:43) of some of the business owners of trying to police the area (00:32:48) so I'm not know I don't know if things have changed since you left sir, but at I think they've made some some improvement because of some of those complaints well, yes, but at the same time he is one of the business owners now, I also an owner in an artist Cooperative of a building that would be very close to a stadium and we are the ones that are worried about having to go out and pull do the policing since we're the property owner. We're the ones that have to go out there and and sweet the sidewalks and clean and take care of things. I also went and spoke to a number of artists that were either working in frame shops or luckily Denver has you know other kinds of space where people have been able to move a few more blocks away, but I asked a number of them. Would you want to live right next to the stadium and and the answer is no and you ask the people who work in the stadium. Would you live next door? Not me. You know, I don't want to have to deal with this on a regular basis. I do believe that Coors Field made a commitment to go out like three blocks around the whole stadium and they do the cleaning and they take care of the surrounding three block area. I do think a puts a large impact on the owners of the property. We have a hard time motivating owners in st. Paul sometimes to keep our town clean. We do a very good job of sweeping streets and that kind of thing, but do we want to do this on a regular basis and That the artists and certainly my neighbors asked me to ask those same questions, you know, the beer cans the urinating is it just like the state fair is up in that neighborhood 81 times a year Susan your comment, please. (00:34:43) Well, one of the greatest things about lower tone at least in the summer is the Saint Paul Farmers Market. It's a it's just a prize a gem what is going to happen with (00:34:53) that from what I understand that's going to stay and it's going to be improved that those plans are already. There's a group as you may be aware. There are already working on that issue of improving that area and one of the places kind of (00:35:06) where might mesh (00:35:08) is that the Gillette site had been talked about as far as some possible expansion of the farmers market, they don't need you know, obviously the size of that complex, (00:35:18) but the city of st. Paul is addressing (00:35:21) that and there certainly is a need for more space because it's Only becoming more and more popular as every year goes by (00:35:29) given what you've seen though in Denver. Is it conceivable that a that a farmers market would fit right into that? Absolutely my mind absolutely no question in my (00:35:38) mind and I have to question whether the people who would come to the farmers market would come on baldy where they come right now downtown maila, the the market closes around 12 o'clock the game time. Does it start 30? Okay, it goes from 6:00 in the morning till 1:30. I live kitty-corner to the farmers market again. It's just how you control congestion and how overwhelming it is for people and I agree. Are you in favor of knocking it off of taking it out of there right now? I'll tell you the congestion is there now I think that if we can get some handle of getting the you needed space I think quite frankly that Farmer Market can even be better. But right now you you tried to get through some of those streets. I live just a few blocks from it and I'll tell you that. Justin is there today and I think if you can start designing this thing in a different fashion as to how you make, you know have the neighborhood city--and and start making the plans of how all of this happens too often. We cut off the neighborhood to Denver to their credit made them Absolute players absolute except the artist still lost because they don't have a power base and something had to go. Well luckily. They didn't have to leave completely and this is our biggest issue is we did this in 82 we got buildings. We went to the very edge of downtown. We're on the last buildings in Lower Town. So from there and these are our homes, they're not They're not just kind of eclectic Studios. These are major investments in our lives, too. I also think that one of the design things we talked with can fry can Greenberg about was creating a year-round farmers market that would actually be incorporated in the stadium. And so there there are ways that one can do that. You're going to change the flavor of things in the texture of things and I think that when you look at a stadium proposal no matter where you put it you have to evaluate the costs. You have to look what's going to change about the existing community. And do you do you savor it do you do you Embrace what's already there and grow on it or do you relocate it? And We don't have a place to relocate. The housing and we don't want to relocate lower. Tom lower town is already this wonderful thriving Community that's growing (00:38:10) William. I need to ask you a question as you looked around at the people who are going to these ball games and stuff. Are we talking of mostly about kind of wealthy trendy people or is there a place for Blue Collar Folks at a ballpark like this? It seems to be pretty good mixture and the certainly the way they've done it here. You have four levels this ballpark the level 1 is going to be pretty you know, it's the higher-end seeding but in and I know there are a lot of season ticket holders in that level the the real Tony stuff though. There's middle two levels what they call the club seating where you have kind of your own little sweet and then and then there's another there's even another level beyond that where season ticket holders only get their own. A private suite and then you have the fourth level which is where those of us from st. Paul. We're sitting and up there. That's a lovely there where you can see the sunset behind the mountains. It's more regular folks. I mean the tickets were about fourteen dollars. Some of the seats are I think the cheapest was but 12 or 13, so there is there's room for everybody but of course, yeah, if you the less you pay the farther away from the action you are and you don't get to go visit The Carving Station or the pasta bar that sort of thing you getting. Can you see the ball game from the poorer seats? Yeah. Absolutely. I mean (00:39:34) and the doctors don't forget the where they call it the rock pile right there. There's out in center field. They've got a place for kids under 12 a buck. That's what it costs for them to go adults out. There are four dollars the concession stands that are near it. I have a top of two dollars, which I think is very very competitive as far as things so the amenities Out there are such a sitting in front of me and I was up in that fourth section and we'll have for watching the game in front of me. There's a young couple they've got a young child. I would say three four years old son who's got his baseball glove there. They've got a in the in the in a caring apparatus. They've got a baby probably four or five months old and the mom is got the bottle out feeding the kid and it they're all part all taking part in this thing. So I think your your observation of a being very mixed and they want to make sure it's family orientated and one of the things that they insist on and when they built theirs was that it be clean that the staff. I mean you get a glad to be glad you're here type thing when you walk it gave your ticket. It isn't this sterile here. Take it to your you're doing us a service by coming. They've got people to make sure that that stays Going out the restrooms for women have been enlarged made larger than what any comparable ballpark apparently around Issa to make a quick comment about that. It's true. They increase the number of stalls. I can't speak with any Authority. That's right. This is 10. The number of stalls in the women's bathroom has really been expanded. My my shoulders touched, you know from from one side to the other they made more but they're skinny good. Well, those are the kind of design things that I think neighbors can bring up and point about this very important. You know, we've been talking about the the, you know, whether where it should be cited and whether or not we came up with our different opinions about that and I think it's very clear that I have a thought that it probably would fit in downtown. I think Marlo has some reservations still reservations about that. I believe downtown is a larger area than than just the site that would impact my house. I do believe that there are sites in st. Paul for it to work. Secondly. I think that If we are going to build a new stadium a downtown stadium is a great vitality. And also if we build a new stadium it has to be open air. We know that Dome baseball is boring. So in those regards, I think when you look for sites, it's very important to to think about what's your process? What's your criteria and evaluating the sites so that so that you embrace the community that already exists in you expand on it or you put it in a place where you are able to get new expansion and New Growth Denver's very different its railroad town. It's very flat. It's a grid City. It's not stopped on sides by Cliffs and rivers but that 16th Street Corridor the ability to physically bring people from one side of town to the others is crucial we could do that from one side of the river to the Other Chris Stadium on the west side of the river would impact downtown as much probably more so than a lower tone field, but it doesn't you don't know not until you almost redesign the five major corridors that lead to a theory to a stadium. They never site in Denver. They didn't have a site when they went with the sales tax, right? We are devoted for an expansion team just as we would too if we didn't have one. We're just about out of time here, but one of the (00:43:34) crucial elements of the this ballpark discussion is the claim by the mayor and other supporters that this would be a real economic boom to downtown st. Paul forget about exactly where it would be located the argument here. Is that by bringing all those people down boy to hold the whole downtown would would benefit a lot of lot of development would occur. Is that is that what happened in Denver? Or it was the development going to occur anyway, and they just put a ballpark there. It happened (00:44:05) faster. They tell us don't count on it being Economic Development being the motivation for doing this thing. They tell us that a number of things occurred. The probably would have occurred anyhow, but it would have taken longer to get to those points. But this seemed to generate some of these developments that we saw down there to come online a lot faster. We asked who the losers were in the process. They thought that things happen in five years instead of 15. And of course, one of our arguments here is that we have done our 10 to 15 years worth of development were 15 years ahead in Saving buildings and historic districts and capturing things the boom was happening and it would happen and again, it's just how you direct the Texture of that. (00:45:02) So in terms of development, you don't really need a ballpark. (00:45:06) I think you could see that that probably be a fair statement. If you're going to if you're going to have development fine, it's going to occur with or without the ballpark. Don't use that as supposedly the the message. The question really is I think for the voters here is going to be should we have one (00:45:23) William? I was just going to mention that in this relates to who comes to the games. I think the ballpark here in Denver has been something of a tourist attraction and people who are visiting a lot of them want to go to the Ballgame. They you mentioned are those bleacher seats and they sell those on the day of the game so that they're always some seats available for people who just happen to be in town on the other hand though as more of these new ballparks pop up around the country. I mean the this one in Denver and the ones in Cleveland Baltimore were kind of on the on the front end of that curve. Now you're seeing more of these ball parks opening 21 in Seattle Milwaukee's coming up in San Francisco and Houston's going to have one. So I think the value as a tourist attraction is probably going to decline in Years. (00:46:03) I do think that the city does need large attraction type developments in order to keep the growth and st. Paul happening and we do need some growth Spurs. They were very good at pointing out that your Arts related economic impact more people come down for theater Science Museum Children's Museum, you know our cultural Corridor more people come to Denver as well for cultural activities than they do for sports activities, but Denver also has all four major sports represented before we wrap up here. Is this a good (00:46:44) are these tours a good way to gather information or is this mostly boosterism on the part of the city to try to sell the stadium to people? (00:46:51) Well I came away with as I said a couple of questions the economic issue and the location issue and I at least I got satisfied as to the location issue. I still Some questions on some of the other portions of this but as I say, they really leveled with us and they brought in good people who really knew what they were talking about and weren't trying to sell us a stadium the I thought it was very beneficial to see it up up-close-and-personal really was a big difference to me. I thought Marlon I thought the blend of the people that were invited to go and I hope it continues through the Baltimore and Cleveland trips. Do represent a cross-section of people that can go back to their communities and and speak to the community and I think part of it depends on how these Crews come back and relate to the rest of the citizens of st. Paul. Well, thanks so much Williams. Thanks for joining (00:47:44) us pleasure. Get some get some rest out there that is not a public radio reporter William Wilcox and joining us from Denver and here in the studio Ray Pharisee former state legislator and Marla gamble, who is the owner of the lowertown Arts Cooperative. They are just back from a tour of Coors Field in Denver taking a look at whether Saint Paul should have a new (00:48:08) ballpark. Get ready Minnesota Public. Radio will be at the Minnesota State Fair August 26 through Labor Day. Check it out at (00:48:34) npr.org. Let's just midday on Minnesota Public Radio and time now for the writers element.