RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
Sunday, for the first time, about a hundred people gathered at the Diamond in Richmond for a dramatic show of support to keep baseball on the Boulevard.
Protesters marched around the baseball stadium holding signs and chanting to raise awareness about their cause. “The bad plan is to build a stadium down on the bottom,” said Terry Rea, one of the event organizers. “We’re trying to keep the resistance going,” said Amy Altman, who also supports baseball on the Boulevard.
Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones has plans to build a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom. But protesters believe that would jeopardize the Bottom’s rich, slave history. “We believe that more jobs will be created with a different sort of development; for instance, developing the history of Lumpkin's Jail,” Altman said.
Dave Hughes with the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association is in favor of baseball in the Bottom and believes the city has addressed and will preserve the area’s history. "One of the key components of this plan is to build a slave heritage history museum and have that be a major part of the development,” Hughes said.
He also said it will be a big economic boost for the city. "Right now city residents have to go to Henrico County or Chesterfield County to do any major shopping and part of the plan is to develop the Boulevard and have major retail.”
But people opposed to the plan will not backing off any time soon. "I think the more people that join the resistance, the more city council and mayor jones will, will listen,” Altman said.
Mayor Jones pulled his plan from a City Council vote weeks ago because he did not have the support. He has not said when he plans to officially present it again.