if as you say 96% of the City merchants want the ball park, and we assume they want it as they believe it will stimulate business activity downtown, why not let them put some skin in the game?
How about a 2% sales tax increase, all of which will be funneled to the ball park? Or, how about a 5 year membership assesment to be funneled to the ball park?
There must be some concrete, skin on the table means for all of these business owners and merchants, whom you predict will benefit from the ball park, to ante up.
More information about formatting options