BY LUCY MAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
There must be something about those parking lots at Broadway and Reading Road that inspires dialing. And faxing. And typing.
Of 597 calls, faxes and e-mails the Enquirer received in response to its Oct. 18 request for readers' opinions, 425 favored the Broadway Commons site for a new Reds stadium.
Another 151 respondents said they prefer the riverfront site next to the Crown, known as Baseball on Main or the "Wedge."
Twenty-one people voted for something completely different -- from refurbishing Cinergy Field to not building a new ballpark at all.
The survey was completely unscientific. It's not known how many of the respondents are registered voters, whether people voted more than once or whether all live in Hamilton County. No independent polls on the issue have been done to date.
The only poll that counts, of course, is Tuesday's, when Hamilton County voters decide Issue 11. It asks voters to create a county charter requiring any new Reds ballpark be built at Broadway.
The county and Reds already have a deal to build a new ballpark on the riverfront. A "yes" on Issue 11 is a vote to try to undo that deal. A "no" is a vote for the riverfront.
Broadway backers echoed the Broadway campaign's contested theme that building a ballpark in northeast downtown would be faster, cheaper and better. Others repeated the anti-establishment theme that runs through the Broadway campaign.
"Now that the taxpayer is footing most of the bill, we must say how the money is spent, not the self-anointed politicians who think they know better than the people that they supposedly represent," wrote Adam Pope of Symmes Township.
"Sports teams who pay for a new stadium themselves should be able to select the site . . . otherwise, the taxpayers should make the call."
Broadway backers are thorough, too. One Broadway fan included a copy of the mass e-mail that urged Broadway backers to write the Enquirer so Broadway would "win" the survey.
And they're sarcastic. One anonymous respondent wrote: "Ohio already has one mistake next to a body of water, I believe they call it Cleveland! Let's go with Broadway Commons!"
Riverfront proponents were just as passionate, with several saying they wouldn't take their families to the Broadway site because it's so close to the Hamilton County Justice Center.
Mark Lindenschmidt of Covedale dubbed the Broadway site "Jailway Commons."
He called Broadway "an embarrassment waiting to happen" because of families that would have to pass the jail on the way to the game.
But few were as passionate, angry and concise as this "other" category e-mail about where the Reds should play: "They are currently so bad, they should play at a municipal park . . . we do not need to build another $500 M stadium."