Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Stadium of Ire

It seems that most everyone wanted the RSL stadium downtown. So, naturally, Utah power brokers didn't put it downtown.

I'm a Salt Lake City resident and I never really cared about where the stadium would go. One of the main reasons is that we already play host to more than our share of events that draw a statewide audience. Don't get me wrong, I like having people come to town and take in a Jazz game or the symphony. I even enjoy sitting in traffic at the north end of Downtown trying to make it to my parent's house in Davis County on Sunday morningsand wathcing the armies of white shirts flood the Conference Center (or as I like to call it, the great and spacious building). My point here is that people are good, but giant, sterile, monolithic structures are bad for an urban environment.

During the modernist boom in the 50's and 60's, many downtowns, including SLC, sacrificed a century of organic growth in order to bring about the artificial convention center/skyscraper/megafreeway/parking!parking!parking!/stadium van der Rohe hellscape that was considered progress in those days. Now, what used to be blocks of storefronts, restaurants, and people (on the sidewalks) are occupied by banks, office space, parking lot rackets, nazi parking enforcement, and the unbearable heat that a conspiracy of July sun and vast tracts of paved area will perpetrate on any poor soul caught without his air-conditioned Escalade. Slowly, slowly, slowly, like evolution itself, downtown SLC is remorphing into a leafy, livable place that nurtures instead of denigrates the soul. I say, let it grow as it will. A stadium that floods cities with people for a few hours does not create vibrant downtown. Rather, it creates a few hours of Potemkinesque flurry that leaves the city even more anemic than it was before.


Blogger Bob said...

The only way a stadium can influence a vibrant, consistant, nightlife, is to give people who don't normally go downtown a chance to experience it.

I know many people (myself included) who used to never ventre downtown. Then, they went out to eat in one of our fine downtown eating establishments during the Olympics or before a Jazz game, and spent a little time downtown, and now their hooked.

However, I was looking at the sales taxes SLC will lose when the team moves to Sandy.


12:27 PM  

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