Thursday, November 14, 2013

Burn it all Down

I was stunned to hear the announcement that the Atlanta Braves are abandoning Turner Field for the suburbs and a new $650 million stadium.

I have no emotional attachment to Turner Field. I have never seen it in person. But I find the idea of bailing on a state-of-the-art stadium, that is only 17 years old, unbelievable. Not only is it a fairly new stadium it was once an Olympic Stadium. The city of Atlanta has announced they plan on tearing down the structure as soon as the Braves vacate.

This is wrong on so many levels.

First, this is a perfect example of the greed that runs rampant in our culture. The Braves are making this move to make a lot of money. They are completely ignoring the historical import of an Olympic Stadium and a stadium that has hosted countless baseball playoff runs. The Braves have no sense of civic responsibility in helping maintain and cultivate an urban core.

This move is also indicative of our throwaway culture. We have no respect for permanence. We have no interest in building things that last. This is a complete waste of resources and man power. Environmentally it is almost a criminal waste of material. We don't like something, we throw it away.

This move also shows a complete disrespect for the people. Once again we have rich billionaires demanding the public pick up a large portion of the tab for the building of a new Braves stadium. Turner Field was built using public funds and now is being abandoned and destroyed. How about a refund to the tax payers who helped build it in the first place?

Of course not. The same hypocrites who criticize the welfare system for giving out handouts turn a blind eye toward the rich who are asking for even greater handouts. The billionaire does not demand money for food for their children or unemployment assistance. The billionaire is demanding money for a place to play sports and to make themselves even richer.

This is not just a sports issue. This is a social issue. This announcement is simply a mirror of our contemporary culture. I dream of a day when somebody somewhere says no, we will not allow you take advantage of the public. Probably a pipe dream. Maybe Thomas Hobbes was right.