CC craps out with letter
August 7, 2006
Stop 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.
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