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New downtown Toledo development project planned by taxpayer-owned Mud Hens baseball team

Will this quasi-taxpayer-supported (government) entity cannibalize local business? The projects "sounds" good, but microscopic inspection is required. It could be another taxpayer boondoggle, Detroitification project.

Unfortunately, no objective investigative reporting will come from the Toledo Blade, since the Blade has already published an editorial, supporting the project. Media failure.

My comment below that was posted in this August 2013 Toledo Talk thread.

According to Wikipedia, Lucas County owns Fifth Third Field, and Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Club, Inc. owns the team.

February 2001 Blade story :

Lucas County commissioners and officials of the Toledo Mud Hens baseball club are to sign a 25-year lease today that guarantees the team will stay in downtown Toledo for the length of the agreement.

The minor-league baseball team will be required to pay $14 million in rent to the county over the length of the lease, including $4 million from selling corporate suites through the Founders Program, and a projected $5 million in naming rights. The base annual rent will be a minimum $200,000, although county officials said it could be higher depending on the income and expenses of the ball club.

The county will receive the Mud Hens' net revenue.


Unlike most professional sports teams, the Toledo Mud Hens and Fifth Third Field are actually owned by the citizens of Lucas County.

If that's true, then could the Blade headline for the story be changed from:

"Mud Hens plan revitalization to ballpark area"


"Lucas County citizens plan revitalization to ballpark area"

Admittedly, I know little about how the Hens operate in regards to county government (taxpayers). This development project would "feel" better if a private developer with private dollars was leading it.

I guess until the details are understood, these above comments seem like legitimate concerns:

"I am in favor of renovating those buildings, but not at the expense of the taxpayer and businesses who sank a lot of money into their operations. The Mudhens and Lucas County have deep pockets and can out-compete any private restaurant owner." #

"I agree with Pete that I don't really want my tax dollars going to more restaurants downtown. That's the big issue I have with government getting involved in projects like this." #

In addition to the story posted above, the blade ran an editorial today as well: http://www.toledoblade.com/Editorials/2013/08/22/Stepping-up-to-the-plate.html

That Blade editorial was instantly invalidated by its opening sentence:

A revitalized Warehouse District and downtown are helping Toledo maintain its population and tax base.

Proof once again that modern journalism has zero interest in the facts.

Toledo, Ohio population

1970 383,818 20.7%
1980 354,635 −7.6%
1990 332,943 −6.1%
2000 313,619 −5.8%
2010 287,208 −8.4%
Est. 2012 284,012 −1.1%

But here's more from the Blade editorial:

Since 1989, the Warehouse District has grown from six residents to more than 500, thanks partly to the opening of Fifth Third Field in 2002.

And since 1990, Toledo's overall population has declined by 48,000 residents.

The taxpayer-supported, downtown Toledo beautification projects are nice, but it seems like a stretch to think that these projects will reverse Toledo's population decline. The good news is that if the 2012 estimate is correct, Toledo's annual rate of population decline has slowed. A bottom must exist somewhere.

#toledo - #politics - #business - #sports - #media - #moronism - #blog_jr

By JR - 532 words
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