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A Times Editorial

Don't let bourbon go to your head

The mayor of Possibility City shows up tonight in the city formerly known as America's Next Great City. Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson is bringing bourbon and Kentucky Derby tickets to Tampa to help sell former Kentuckians on returning home. Before the liquor goes to their heads, those transplants to Tampa Bay ought to think twice about abandoning the Sunshine State for the Bluegrass State.

We have the beaches and the gulf. Louisville has the Ohio River, and you can't see the bottom. The Belle of Louisville paddlewheeler is fun, though.

We have three major professional sports franchises. Louisville has minor-league baseball. We'll concede the compact downtown stadium has more charm than Tropicana Field, even if it isn't air conditioned.

The University of Louisville and the University of South Florida are both urban universities in the Big East Conference. U of L is older, but USF is bigger.

There is no comparison between world-renowned Tampa International Airport and Louisville International. TIA serves roughly five times the number of passengers as Louisville's airport.

Tampa Bay has the office towers of downtown Tampa, the restaurants and art galleries of walkable downtown St. Petersburg and many other distinctive communities to explore. Across the river, Louisville has southern Indiana, a string of strip malls and depressed small towns once known as "The Sunny Side of Louisville.''

Louisville once had most of the vices covered in local industries, from whiskey to tobacco to gambling. Tampa has the Seminole casino and tops everyone in adult entertainment.

It is hard to beat the Kentucky Derby and the pageantry of the first Saturday in May. But next year Tampa will host another Super Bowl. And remember one more thing about Louisville before deciding to stop worrying about hurricanes, property insurance and traffic.

In Possibility City, it snows.

Don't let bourbon go to your head 07/23/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:21pm]
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