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Curveball: Mayor’s stadium pitch loses funding in City Council vote

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) –A plan to bring a baseball stadium to Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom may strike out after all.

On Wednesday CBS 6 told you about a pitch to build an entirely new stadium on the Boulevard.

Then it was a big night at Richmond City Council Thursday, as council voted on budget amendments proposed by 1st District Councilman Jon Baliles.

The council voted 5-4 to cut all funding for Mayor Dwight Jones’ proposed ball-park development plan in Shockoe Bottom

That very close vote will cut $12 million from the proposed 2015 budget.

The money would have paid for road, water and electricity upgrades that would be needed if the stadium was built in the Bottom.

This doesn’t mean his plan is done.

The mayor has 14 days to veto budget amendments, and then it would take six votes to over-ride that veto.

Baliles proposed the budget amendment as part of a plan to spend that money on improving schools and public safety instead. The reallocation plans are still pending.

Meanwhile, the developer behind a new baseball proposal that had wished to remain anonymous has come forward.

Midlothian developer Rekee has offered to privately finance a new stadium at the Boulevard.

According to Baliles, the Mayor’s current plan would cost the city $80 million, which would go toward building a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom, infrastructure improvements in the area, and a slavery heritage site.

Baliles said the private developers are willing to build with their own money a new stadium on ten of 61 acres on the Boulevard, as well as pay for the land.

However, he said with both proposals the city would still pick up the tab for site improvement costs on the Boulevard, which would cost around $7.5 million.

Baliles said the private developers met with all of the council members and the administration within the last month to show them the proposal.

You can learn more about that plan and the developer here. 

 

9 comments

  • Becky.

    The Consortiums’ Mayor, with their bevy of every conceivable “expert” Failed to meet time restrictions, time extentions, was was incapable of submitting a legitimate, substantiated, factual Proposal before Richmond City Council; despite Council’s past approvals, regardless.
    How long has this been their over ruling, driving, brow-beating scheme?
    Remember, The Mayor, Charles Samuels, City Council President, and
    Ellen Robertson, City Council VP, Serve The Venture Richmond
    Consortium on their Board, Kathy C. Graziano normally serves The
    Mayor.
    Could they we the 4 dissenting Votes? The Report doesn’t Report.

  • Glen Allen

    The City can use some of the money they would have given the private sector ballpark and now put it into the Heritage Site. Additionally, maybe, just maybe, they can come a little closer to the $100 million of maintenance projects identified by the schools back in 20102 that never got funded. Maybe they can fix a few roads, some more sidewalks, and possibly even do something with some of the City-Owned boarded-up falling down, rat infested buildings.

  • Belsma

    Fund the schools first. Keep the ball park where it is. I would not take my family down to the bottom past dark for any reason, and I don’t think anyone would. It was scary down there almost 20 years ago when I saw a college kid get stabbed over a girl, I think I have been back once or twice during daylight hours to eat.

  • SicSemper

    When will they get it through their thick skulls….round and round…..Leave the Bottom alone for History’s sake, small businesses and apartments, not some gaudy stadium that would overshadow every venue down there and slowly deteriorate until more money has to be poured into it (Coliseum anyone?). As previously stated, spend the money on schools and public safety. There is nothing wrong with the Bvld location, even if the City finances the whole thing (which I’m sure is their intention, no telling what kind of shady financial dealings are going on with this corrupt city Government). Ecchh….

  • Becky

    Bet the Mayor is as mad and upset as the Resident/Tax Payers
    have been for so long. His turn. He deserves it; we never did.

  • Becky

    Consortiums’ Botton Ball Park: Playing on a unlevel playing field,
    with no rules, unsportsmanlike conduct, no apparent empires, and
    and Pineda pitches.

  • Glen Allen

    Jim: I agree with you; the Bottom really is not that bad, I feel perfectly safe down there, but it is not a place for children at night. Currently the parking is just outside the stadium and it is easy to keep an eye on your kids during the walk to and from the stadium, however that will not necessarily be the case in the Bottom, it all depends on where you get a space. It would be nice for the younger folks in that they can go straight from the diamond to the bars, but the Bottom is only about a 2-1/2 mile ride from the existing diamond, and Carytown and the Fan are even closer.

    Relocating the Diamond to the Bottom would change the audience from family-based to college, and younger adults. I think the college and younger adults would go while the stadium is shiny and new, but would grow tired of it after a year or two.

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