Viewed with unbiased eyes, the debate concerning the PSE resembles a referendum on the Municipality of Lugano, which, on November 28, will play a major role in terms of its credibility, following a problematic start to its legislature. After being confronted with the quagmire of responsibilities for the destruction of the former slaughterhouse (and subsequent investigation) and after suffering a dramatic decline in terms of vision and leadership with the passing of Marco Borradori, the Executive now wants to proceed as united as ever in favor of a project which for the City has been discussed for years, and recently considered vital. This was demonstrated by the presence, during the press conference yesterday for the «yes» vote to the PSE, of all the seven members of the City Hall, from right to left, united and firm as has seldom happened. It was a strong answer to those inter-party oppositions that render the result of the referendum unpredictable, with the FC Lugano that more than all the other clubs feared for its future in the case of a victory by the opponents. Rather than the project itself, it is the Jurassic timescales of the bureaucratic and planning process that are currently being discussed: after all, this is the real problem with any large infrastructure project. But now there is no more time. So the citizens find themselves in front of a type of alternative proposal that some may not like, as well as the type of financing selected by the City Hall, which is the public-private partnership.

This would lead, in the opinion of those against, to too many concessions (including building concessions) to private individuals. One thing is certain: the two entities can collaborate. On the contrary, in this instance they have to, since the resources are now limited and Lugano can no longer think big as it used to. But the results are not guaranteed to be the kind of failures that those against them fear. Let’s take for example, the LAC cultural sector: initially this last major construction on the shores of the Ceresio was contested by many, but nowadays it is difficult to find anyone who does not appreciate it and declares himself, somewhat belatedly, happy with its completion (perhaps regretting a more effective collaboration with the private sector).

With the PSE, probably, reactions would not be very different. To say nothing of the waste and losses: a «no» vote would entail tossing 18 million out the window, the amount already spent up to now, and renouncing another 23 million guaranteed by the Confederation and the Canton. Apart from endangering the future of the HCL football club. Above all, beyond the accounting and sports issues, a refusal of the PSE would be equivalent to leaving an important city like Lugano in a dimension that has been rightly defined as a «sports prehistory», a grey and decadent one like the current stadium and its sector. It is necessary to look ahead. The new stadium is more than necessary, the Palazzetto dello Sport is also necessary. The new athletics track (to the south) must be built, because today in soccer stadiums the tartan ring is offside. There is also the Sports Center at Maglio, not included in the referendum but that will serve other sports associations and younger people. Without towers and high-rise buildings, private investors understandably couldn’t do their part in making the whole PSE feasible; in a city that was close to a billion francs in debt in 2013, their involvement is in the order of things. Gradually, admittedly, thanks to City Hall’s recovery plan, the debt has now been reduced to 900 million. In any case out of proportion. The PSE, once fully operational, could help lower it. And who knows, maybe another great sports project will come to its rescue, the Gottardo Arena, which has had the power to re-launch Ambrì Piotta in no time at all in terms of image and enthusiasm. Because, at the end of the day, sport and cities thrive on enthusiasm.

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Ultime notizie: OnTheSpot
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