RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – In an apparent attempt to get ahead of the curve (ball), a group spoke out Monday against building a yet-to-be-formally-proposed baseball stadium in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom neighborhood.
“More than 1,600 people, about 80 percent of them Richmonders, have signed a petition opposing a Shockoe stadium because of the area’s importance to the history of people of African descent,” Phil Wilayto and Ana Edwards said in a media advisory. “In the decades leading up to the end of the Civil War, Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom was the site of the second-largest slave-trading district in the United States. The majority of African-Americans today could likely trace some ancestry to this small piece of land. It is totally inappropriate to build a commercial sports stadium on this sacred ground.”
City Hall insiders contend Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones is working behind the scenes to gain support for his plan to move minor league baseball from the Diamond on Boulevard to Shockoe Bottom. Previous efforts to move the stadium to the Bottom have failed. A new plan has not yet been publicly presented.
”The mayor has consistently said he wants to bring forth a detailed [stadium] proposal,” Mayor Jones spokeswoman Tammy Hawley said. “Since no proposal is out yet, we aren’t sure what they are opposed to.”
Hawley said she anticipated some movement regarding the Shockoe stadium proposal in the next few weeks.