The Big Story Blog

Best reader ideas for the Ford plant

Posted at 2:32 PM on November 10, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Economic Development

Two words: Vikings stadium.

ideas.ford3.jpg

Reader Brian Moen managed to combine two of our recent obsessions into one, short awesome answer: Let's build a new Vikings football stadium on St. Paul's Mississippi River bluffs, on land about to be vacated by Ford Motor Corp.

OK, there's no chance. But we applaud the original thought.

We asked readers on Google+ , our Facebook page and at MPR's website to offer up their best ideas on what to do with the Ford plant site.

ideas.ford1.jpg

At Today's Question on MPR News, one reader writes:

I've been to a few of the meetings seeing I live in Highland Park.

Baseball fields. The Highland Park Little League/Hi-Tower Babe Ruth has never had an official contract for those fields with Ford. It has been a gentleman's handshake deal for the last 50+ years.

Many of the plans call for NOT replacing the three existing fields which would be a complete failure if they were not replaced.

No plan has MORE than three fields. The girl's softball division of HPLL/HTBR doesn't even play on these fields seeing they are booked solid every evening/weekend during the season.The girls play on a variety of fields across Highland Park/Mac Groveland. More fields are required to incorporate the girl's program with the guys.

Much of the southern half of the property cannot be developed because its either too close to the river or too close to airport. THIS IS WHERE MORE FIELDS NEED TO GO. There has been talk about "Greenspace". Well under the St Paul Charter, ball fields can be counted as greenspace. With Hidden Falls Park, Minnehaha Park, Mississippi River road, we have plenty of nice places to take a walk/bike, we don't have enough places to have kids sports.

My kid had his last year of Babe Ruth this year, I have no dog in the fight except that if St Paul is to compete with the suburbs to attract new families, we need the recreation space.

ideas.ford2.jpg

More than a few people pitched the idea of keeping the buildings and making new kinds of cars.

ideas.ford4.jpg

It makes a ton of sense to us. The buildings are there. The hydro plant is there. The rail facilities are there.

It's been one of those ideas, though, that's been pitched and rejected -- by Ford, anyway. Like the Vikings stadium idea, though, it's got no chance.

Maybe there's still time to pitch Google.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.