Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Mighty Bostic whiffs

At Richmond BizSense Al Harris reports that the arrangement to buy the Connecticut Defenders by Bryan Bostic's group, Richmond Baseball Club, has come unraveled. A public relations spokesman for the group admits the deadline for sealing it all up before June 1 cannot be met.
Local media has reported the investor group led by businessman Bryan Bostic is short of the estimated $15 million needed to buy the team. News broke this week that [Nolan] Ryan’s company, co-founded with former Houston Astros owner Don Sanders, is considering potential ownership of the franchise and possibly investing in the ballpark planned for Shockoe Center.
Click here to read the entire post.

Boy! A lot can change in a couple of weeks. What was being sold as inevitability on May 12, at the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Public Square forum, has turned out to be just talk.

Let's hope Nolan Ryan is smart enough not to jump onto the Shockoe-Bottom-or-nothing threat-driven bandwagon being steered by Paul Kreckman of Highwoods Properties.

At this point, with so much of what Kreckman and Bostic were assuring people was true having been exposed at hot air, Ryan would be well advised to stay away from trying to jam a baseball stadium into a neighborhood that is totally inappropriate for such a facility.

Ryan and any other prospective baseball team owners simply must make their deal to buy a team knowing The Diamond is going to the the home field for at least two years, maybe more. So, that clunky old ballpark is going to get some sort of minimal makeover, at least, before any new team comes in.

After all that has happened, matters to do with where the next new stadium ought to be and how it will be financed are not likely to be easily resolved on an artificial, fast-track timetable. It's easy to imagine we are at least three or four years away from opening up a new baseball stadium, anywhere in the metro area.

Update: Maybe we should always wonder when "inevitability" is being hard-sold, and the salesmen get blustery when you ask questions. A reader sent me the following set of links that underline how far Bostic went to create the illusion that was "inevitability":
  1. "Group Nears Completion of Deal..."
  2. "Sale of ... Baseball Team to Richmond Group Appears to Be Close"
  3. "Sale to Richmond group may be 'imminent'"
Update II: Here's part of a reply I made to a reader who commented on a May 14 post about the Public Squares forum at SLANTblog. As my friends all know, I love to make predictions. Then I only talk about the ones that come true. Well, I like my chances on this one.
The politicians at the forum saw voters. And, way more than half of those voters were not buying what Kreckman and Bostic were selling. Politicians can do math. This Public Square forum may well be remembered as the tipping point -- the night the worst idea for developing Shockoe Bottom died.

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