Interstate 70 and The Truman Sports complex are special places in my life. They were very important to my Father. He worked for the Kansas Department of Transportation and helped build I70. It is why I grew up where I did. I have a very fond memory of Dad taking us to the Stadium during the summer of 1972. It wasn’t yet finished, but he was proud of how the Interstate Highway system was linking America and giving people the opportunity to readily travel from rural areas to venues like Royals Stadium. The work of his generation changed society in so many wonderful ways.
Now, nearly fifty years later people want to do something that appears to be just the opposite of this truly outstanding progress. I’ve deeply considered how I think and feel about such a turnabout of events. Upon doing this, I’ve decided that I enthusiastically support a downtown stadium for the same reasons my Dad was proud of I70. Both changes appear to be right and optimistic visions that fit their times and foreseeable future horizons. I70 fit the values, needs, and desires of it’s generation. Downtown renovation and gathering in the city fits our current times in an equally optimistic way that is very important in 2021.
My Dad was in the early part of his DOT career when planning began on what became the sports complex. The people who did the actual planning were much further along in their lives and careers. They are all long passed. Most were born between 1900 and 1925. Senator Symington was incredibly important in the process. He was born in 1901.
Should our generation hold the next two to three generations in custody to the values of someone born in 1901? I resoundingly say "no". Senator Symington and those of his times actually looked out for the next two to three generations. They didn’t build livery stables. Times have changed during my life, as well. Gathering downtown for a game and brew is desirable again. Commuting needs and preferences have changed. New parameters are in play just as they were in the 1960’s and 70’s.