Once again, Mayor Kevin Johnson’s tunnel vision is striking out.
Less than a week after dropping the proposed new Sacramento Kings arena, the mayor’s Think Big Sacramento task force now wants to explore the possibility of a major-league baseball team and stadium as the downtown rail yards’ flagship destination.
Really? Sports? Again?
If the mayor’s only suggestions for economic development and downtown revitalization are going to be professional-sports venues, then stick a fork in it: We’re done.
Johnson’s Think Big task force publicized on July 9 that it was eyeing the Oakland Athletics and a stadium for the rail yards. West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and others were caught off guard by the announcement; Cabaldon called Johnson’s rogue move “reckless.”
It was quickly obvious that there will be no MLB in Sacto.
And, like the person with only a hammer in his toolbox that thinks every problem looks like a nail, Johnson and his supporters are focused too narrowly. There’s a lot of development—intermodal transit, etc.—in the pipe for the rail yards. And while we’re not opposed to the mayor having a signature project, it should be doable—and without unnecessarily large taxpayer investment or harm to other regional interests.
Still, like a good many taxpayers and voters, we’re really tired of visions for Sacramento that are increasingly single-minded and Sports Illustrated.
Get moving on a project that’s truly achievable, one that possibly focuses on something other than major-league sports. We need the mayor to work for the city, not ESPN.