Ballpark Pillage

Proposed Cardinals boondoggle gives new meaning to fuzzy math

We're most specific that the new ballpark will be ready for play by 2005 (even in an unfinished state), but that darned Ballpark Village is just hard to pin down, deadline-wise. The Cardinals' "commitment" is that the first phase will be "mostly" done by 2011, the second "mostly" by 2014.

Your grade-schooler will be finishing college when Ballpark Village mystically hypnotizes people to abandon their offices and homes in places such as Clayton, Chesterfield and Wildwood to return to the splendor of next-to-a-stadium downtown living. More important, every party to this wonderful deal will be a distant memory, including the certain-to-be-happily-cashed-out owners.

See a pattern? When we're giving to the billionaires, the numbers are hard as stadium concrete in December. When we're receiving from the billionaires, the commitments are soft as a Ted Drewes Concrete in July.

Give the billionaires their stadium and we'll enjoy Ballpark Village, a novel cross between St. Louis Centre, the Gateway Mall and Kiel Opera House.

Can you say "balk," St. Louis?

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