Be Bold, Baltimore: We Need a Downtown Arena

Stop thinking small, columnist urges
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2008 3:17 PM CDT
Baltimore's Inner Harbor, one of the most successful American urban renewal projects ever.   ((c) Kevin Farner)
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(Newser) – Baltimore is big enough—and its future bright enough—to build a new sports arena downtown, and all those "nattering negativists" who think otherwise need to get out of their basements more, writes Dan Rodricks in the Baltimore Sun. Plans to tear down First Mariner Arena and put up a new facility for hockey and basketball should move ahead quickly—with the result being a re-energized downtown.

"Enough of never-think," writes Rodricks. "It assumes that Baltimore can't grow and can't control its own destiny by doing something bold and exciting like turning an uninteresting industrial waterfront into a tourist destination, or transforming a rail yard and brick warehouse into a fabulous sports venue, or tearing down an old, dumpy-but-still-bookin'-dates arena and building an amazing new one."