The Moving Target

Go Team!
Go Team!

Did anyone notice the cognitive dissonance in the noise coming out of the ballpark crowd?

I am really trying to get behind this ballpark thing, now that we don’t have a choice. (Did we ever have a choice?) I even bought a hat ($18 plus tax). I really want to turn this boondoggle ballpark into a bonus for the city.

The marketing experts behind the team and the branding insist that the emphasis needs to be on the kids. Because it’s fun to take your kids to the game, and kids make their parents buy them merchandise. What do you think all those free circus tickets are about? Once you get under the big top, all the sales pitches are aimed at the esquincles. And man, a four year old kid that really wants a plastic light saber is hard to ignore.

But the agitprop told us that the ballpark was about building a vibrant downtown. The ballpark was supposed to translate to bars and restaurants, and a city center that doesn’t roll up the sidewalks at ten p.m. Somehow, that doesn’t exactly jive with cartoon characters and brinca brincas. I understand that there’s room for everyone under a big tent, but can we get the message straight?

(“Honey, you wait here on the sidewalk. Daddy’s going to go in here and have a beer and a couple of shots of tequila.”)

Does vibrant downtown mean Peter Piper Pizzas on every block? Are we going to convince the prototypical El Paso family with 3.54 members to give up their idyllic suburban lifestyle and move downtown?

The more they try to sell us the ballpark, the more it looks like they’re coming up with rationales instead of reasons. I know it’s late to ask, but did anyone think this through?

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