City Council Passes Shockoe Ballpark Vote - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

City Council Passes Shockoe Ballpark Vote

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RICHMOND (WRIC)—After a night of hearing opinions on both sides of the issue, the Richmond City Council passed a 6-3 vote in favor of the Shockoe Bottom ballpark proposal.

Dozens of people on both sides of the aisle showed up Monday night with signs and passionate opinions. Crowds spilled into the hallway, as each side had an hour to voice its opinion.

Those against the plan are worried the stadium will be built on slave burial grounds and are concerned about the cost of the project.

"All of these monies, these millions of dollars that are going to a third-rate baseball diamond, team, can be utilized for other purpose[s] throughout our community—to enrich the lives of the humanness of the folk that reside in the City of Richmond," one critic said.

"How, logistically, do you move 8,500 people out of Shockoe Bottom?" said another. "It just puzzles—I have such a simple mind—I'm sorry, but it just puzzles me. Why are you bending over backwards for a AA baseball team? If they have the second-highest or the highest attendance on the East Coast, think of all the other teams that would love to come here!"

Meanwhile, those in favor of the plan say it will revitalize Shockoe Bottom, bring tax dollars into the city, and that if the ballpark isn't approved, there won't be enough funding to build the slavery museum.

"I do think it's important for us to protect the burial ground, but then again if we're going to protect something, maybe we shouldn't build anything in Richmond, because all Richmond, all of Virginia, should be sacred," said one supporter.

Another said, "The taxes generated from these projects will help improve schools in the city is one of the strongest factors. It will help encourage and make it more likely that young professionals, as they start to have families, will not move into the suburbs, but be able to stay in the cities and neighborhood where they love."

 

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