Allegheny County Voters continue to oppose sports stadiums and downtown retail center

Columnist : Lincoln Institute

Highway and Maglev projects get strong support from Voters

     {Pittsburgh, Pa., — 12, October 2000}  A new Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research poll of voters in Allegheny County found little support for sports stadiums and a proposed plan to develop a retail market place at Fifth and Forbes in Pittsburgh while the same voters heavily favor new highway and transit projects.
Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy’s downtown redevelopment plan was opposed 49% of the respondents to the Lincoln Institute Poll.  Only 21% voiced support for the plan, while 28% offered no opinion.  Voters in the 18 – 21 bracket were the only demographic group with a majority in favor with 54% of these voters expressing support. Only 15% of those age 60 and over expressed support for the new retail center.
Among voters in the City of Pittsburgh, 33% said they support the Fifth and Forbes development while 47% were opposed.  Most troubling for the Mayor, 53% of democrats say they oppose the development.  When told that the marketplace development would be built with $150 million in tax subsidy support for Mayor Murphy’s project dropped to just 13% of the voters questioned for the survey.
Eminent Domain, the forceful taking of private property by government for construction of the new market place was a key issues in opposition to the project.  77% of Allegheny County voters surveyed were against Eminent Domain being used for the project.  Only 8% of those polled indicated support for the practice.  Opposition to the use of Eminent Domain power was particularly strong among Democrats – 81% opposed its use for the Fifth and Forbes project.

Stadiums still don’t score with voters

Despite the fact that they are being built Allegheny County voters continued to strongly oppose new stadiums for the Steelers and the Pirates.  The Lincoln Pulse Poll found that 78% of voters continued opposition to the pro sports teams’ projects.  That number is virtually identical to the percentage of voters who expressed disapproval of the stadium construction in past polls and who actually voted against a proposed 1% sales tax to help pay for the new ball parks.