Not just because it’s a sports tradition that dates to the 19th century, or because losing the Preakness would be another horrible blow to the civic ego. But for the sake of creating economic opportunity, developing public spaces for year-round use, redeveloping the impoverished communities to Pimlico’s south and west, and affirming the state’s commitment to a thriving Baltimore. Across the United States, cities define their regions; they provide an identity, a cultural and institutional center. And where cities thrive — safe streets, good jobs, good schools, healthy environments, public transportation, smart and consistent government services — entire metropolitan areas thrive. If they truly care about a sustainable future, political and corporate leaders must recognize this.