You Gotta Have Hope

Why? Because without it, the stadium promises fall apart.

In addition, though the implication of claims of positive economic impact is that most citizens wind up pocketing some of the dough, the bulk of the spending tends to go into a very few pockets. The present agreement between the city, county and the Astros underscores that fact -- every penny of ballpark revenue, including the naming rights for the publicly owned facility, is McLane's for the having.

Though none of these potential taxpayer losses will necessarily be incurred, their possibility carries a lot more weight than the blithe assurances to the contrary offered by Alexander and the "Vote Yes" side. That's why at the Wyndham Greenspoint last Thursday, Alexander, boxed in by Dan Patrick's factual jabs, could only fall back on platitudes. Asked by a rotund man at the back of the Wedgewood Room what part of the stadium plan guaranteed that the city of Houston would flourish with a downtown sports facility, he replied gamely, "That's not included in the plan. It's included in the hope.

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