The bill that would lease Daly Field in Brighton to Simmons College is a poor example of privatization. It’s one thing for an efficient private entity to operate a state-owned park on behalf of the public — a legitimate role for privatization. But in this case, Simmons would retain exclusive rights to the park for its athletic teams during many late afternoons and evenings.
The bill enjoys the support of public officials in Brighton. They note that Simmons would invest millions of dollars to restore the playing fields and make a $500,000 donation to beautify a section of the Charles River across from the park. Local sports teams, including Brighton High School and Allston/Brighton Little League, would have hours set aside for exclusive use. But opponents, including the state’s leading environmental groups, rightly counter that the park would be “spoken for” so often that unstructured use by the general public would be a rarity.