Eric has a pretty nice rundown of today's big announcement, and I'm sure Schutze will chime in at some point, when he's done looking into the combination polo-field/squash complex expected to be announced for southern Dallas next week.
In the meantime, Sharon Grigsby, editorial page editor for the Morning News, is VERY Upset about The Way people -- people she WON'T NAME, because God forbid the Morning News ever risk Legitimizing another media outlet by uttering its silly little name -- are responding to the announcement that the city and AT&T are working to bring a CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF COURSE to southern Dallas.
Let's break it down over-capitalized point by over-capitalized point, because the Internet likes that sort of thing. Plus it's faster, which is key, because you're all about to leave for the bar. (OK, we're. We're all about to leave for the bar.)
To all of those who are falling all over yourself to get on the bandwagon that is proclaiming that bringing a "world-class golf course in southern Dallas" is TERRIBLE idea:
I don't think many people are arguing that simply building the course is a "terrible" idea. Everyone seems to agree -- at least this early in the game -- that the money would be spent anyway, the land isn't anything terribly special, and what the hell, if SMU's golf team and some other folks want to play golf there, go for it.
1. The people who play on this course -- whether professionals, SMU team members or underprivileged children in the First Tee program -- just might want to spend some money in southern Dallas. Development, jobs and growing the tax base -- something that would help every Dallas resident -- are possibilities here.
First, if we're relying on the underprivileged kids to spur the local economy, we're in trouble. As for the rich folks allegedly golfing there:
Golf course memberships are way down over the last decade or two -- to 2 million in 2010 from 3 million in the '90s. Country clubs are combining and dying and getting cheaper, and young people aren't joining them. So assuming people will buy a membership at this thing -- which is what will have to happen keep it afloat -- is a little presumptuous.
If they do come, what are they going to spend money on outside the course? Golf courses -- as D's Tim Rogers and Grigsby's own colleague have already pointed out -- don't have great track records of spurring non-housing development.
2. Southern Dallas is where the undeveloped land is -- and pretty land, at that. Northern Dallas is pretty much paved over.
Point conceded. Then again, I'm not sure who she's arguing with here. I don't remember anyone suggesting that Pete Dye design 36 holes on top of 635.
3. The money the city is contributing to this project is money it was going to have to spend -- the remediation must be done.
Totally. Those unnamed cynical bastards she links to said the exact same thing.
4. I know that several smart leaders who actually LIVE in southern Dallas think so. No, all the questions aren't answered yet, but I wish The Detractors, some of whom you can find here, could take a breath or two before deciding that just because this is associated with City Hall, it's a bad idea.
Fair enough. Then again, it's a little unfair to criticize other media outlets for reacting so quickly on so little information. We sort of had to.
The press releases we got from City Hall yesterday and today about the mayor's big announcement gave exactly zero details about what the event was -- not even the fact that it was a golf course. But for whatever reason, the mayor gave a lengthy interview to the Morning News sometime before those press releases went out, providing all sorts of details and context. Meanwhile, The Alleged Detractors, fighting for their lives in the give-it-to-me-now digital-media landscape, were made to wait until midday today to get any information about the course, leaving them to speculate wildly in order to be a part of the conversation, which their readers require.
So, yeah, we could "take a breath or two," but by the time we finished breathing the News would already be inviting the mayor up for tea so he could lay out its next big scoop, about the wind-surfing park he and Texas Instruments are planning for the Trinity.
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Getting people with money into southern Dallas is huge -- as opposed to the longstanding idea that southern Dallas is a place to be avoided at all costs by anyone but those who are "forced" to live there.
Not to mention the fact that it's disappointing that people make a joke out of the idea that something "high quality" might be going into southern Dallas. Until this knee-jerk stereotyping ends, we'll never "bridge the gap."
I sort of wish I could have stopped after the tea thing. That was solid, I thought. Alas, she carries on.
No one's making a joke about something "high quality" going into southern Dallas. The joke is that, together with the impending horse park, the city is putting "high quality" things that happen to appeal directly to wealthy white people.
If we're stereotyping -- I suspect we totally are -- we're not stereotyping southern Dallas. We're stereotyping wealthy hobbyists, which is way more fun and doesn't require wearing a collared shirt.