The Shockoe Stadium Struggle Continues…

The Times Dispatch headline for last night’s City Council meeting was pretty triumphant, “Shockoe baseball stadium plan wins initial backing 6-3”, which may not be that surprising given the newspaper’s ties to the proponents of the controversial Shockoe Bottom stadium proposal.

But the opposition is not giving up. From the Facebook announcement:

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES! The Defenders will be hosting a second Activists Meeting this Thursday, Feb. 27, 6:30 pm, at the William Byrd Community House, 224 So. Cherry St., RVA 23220. This will be a opportunity to network and share ideas on how to strengthen the movement against a Shockoe Bottom stadium and for a real Historic District. The Defenders will be promoting a more organized community petitioning campaign as a way to reach out to those not yet involved and encourage them to join this important struggle. Hope to see you there!

Also, the editor of this community news site has started a boycott petition, which may take on increasing importance if political options continue to fade. The boycott was also reluctantly announced at last week’s City Council Land Use and Financial Committee meetings. I say ‘reluctantly’ because the boycott was started due to failing local politics. It is open to non City residents as well.

“We, the undersigned, stand in opposition to the Mayor’s Shockoe stadium proposal. There are many reasons to oppose a stadium in Shockoe Bottom: the questionable finances of the developers’ plan, parking, traffic, leaving the best and most accessible site for baseball in the city and disrespecting the incredible history of what once was the largest slave-trading district north of New Orleans. Some of us are county residents who do not want to travel into the Bottom for a baseball game.

As long as the Shockoe stadium proposal is still a threat, from this point forward we promise to boycott the Flying Squirrels’ baseball games and other supporting businesses. This is not something we take lightly- many of us like the Flying Squirrels and recognize the harmful economic effect that this boycott will have. However, with the Mayor and proponents not allowing a referendum or citizens’ vote on the Shockoe stadium proposal, and in effect muting our political voice, we have decided it is time to exercise our economic voice.”

How many subscriptions and sales can the Flying Squirrels afford to lose before they recognize that this stadium proposal is not viable for lack of public support?