CC craps out with letter

August 7, 2006

screamingStop Our City’s ‘educated voice’ – retired UWF professor C.C. Elebash missed some important points when he compared the Montgomery Biscuits to the Pensacola Pelicans in his letter to the editor in the PNJ. (His letter is reprinted below)

What Elebash fails to write is that the Montgomery team didn’t move from Orlando to Montgomery until the city council agreed to build a $26-million stadium downtown. There was no SOC group that fought it and tied it up with a referendum. The vote by the Southern Leagur to move the team came a month after the council vote.

Also Montgomery had a team in the original league that the Pensacola Pelicans played in 2001 – the Montgomery Wings. When it folded, the community worked to attract a new team.

Had Elebash, Donovan and Fairchild lived in Montgomery, would they have supported the $26 million stadium and the hunt for a new team? Of course not.

Here is the team history of the Montgomery Biscuits – start at June, 2001.

History of the Biscuits

Elebash letter:
Different cities

In response to Troy Moon’s column (“A game — and team — for the fans,” July 28): Advocates of the Trillium baseball stadium tout the success of the Montgomery baseball stadium. However, Montgomery’s situation is quite different from ours, and success in Montgomery does not foretell success in Pensacola.

The Montgomery Biscuits are a Class AA team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, whereas the Pensacola Pelicans are not affiliated with a major league team. They play on the fringes of professional baseball in an “independent” league.

The Montgomery stadium is part of a downtown renaissance located within one mile of the Alabama State Capitol and major historical attractions. There is a luxury hotel two blocks from the stadium. Although the city of Montgomery built the stadium, Montgomery revitalization is backed by the multibillion-dollar Alabama Retirement System (the people who built the Robert Trent Jones golf courses). An expanded civic center, a new conference center and a second luxury hotel are under construction within several blocks of the stadium.

Pensacola would be foolish to spend $16 million to $20 million on a baseball stadium that would produce little or no economic benefit. Pensacola has a poor history with professional sports, and we have needs much more important than a waterfront ballpark.

— Clarence. C. Elebash

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3 Responses to “CC craps out with letter”

  1. GoSaveAnotherCity Says:

    “An expanded civic center, a new conference center and a second luxury hotel are under construction within several blocks of the stadium.”

    I suppose all of this would have been built without the stadium, right?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I enjoy reading your blog from time to time. Since your paper appears to be the only media outlet in town attempting to consistently report on the park issue, I thought I’d give you a free story idea. Go around town and ask the following people (including ones I’ve missed, of course) what they think of the park proposal. It’d be interesting to get different perspectives on the issue instead of hearing C.C. and E.W.’s opinions over and over:

    Michelle Schmitz – Charlie’s partner in crime for Trillium One (not a city resident any longer, but I’d still like to know what she thinks)
    Fred Levin, Bob Kerrigan, Collier Merrill, John Carr – Downtown bunch has been kinda quiet on this one…
    Ken Ford – Cheerleader for Quality of Life with respect to attracting Creative Class.
    Tom Delaino – Represents the public learning institution not getting any waterfront classrooms.
    Susan Story, Carol Carlan, Patrick Madden, Al Stubblefield, Sandy Sansing – Is the park good for business?
    Leroy Boyd – Is he interested in this kind of change?
    Jim Paul – Arguably, CRA money could eventually (I know, it’s a stretch) help him instead of building a park.
    Kevin Doyle – C’mon, you know you want to ask him if he’s even seen the waterfront…

  3. T.J. Riner Says:

    Then there’s Jack Montague of Montgomery, AL, the World War II veteran who refuses to believe the war ever ended and continues to live in a basement bomb shelter, surviving on canned goods and communicating only by short-wave radio.

    Last night in one of his weekly radio communiques, he wanted it known that he is dead set against the Maritime Park. “It’s obviously a Rooskie trick!” He said. “They’ve taken the good name of baseball and slandered it with scallawagism and shady financials,” he continued.

    “Montgomery is a big city not like pathethic little p’cola, you one-horse towners better let the grownups decide for you, the Park is not for you!” Montague ended his broadcast with an appeal for the return of horse and buggy based transportation, hoop skirts, free air for bi-cyclists and nickel draught beer.

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