Saturday, October 19, 2013

When allies can't work together

There are a lot of people in the Richmond area who are opposed to building a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom. A recent Richmond Times-Dispatch poll suggested that two out of three oppose it.

On Nov. 5th that number might have been confirmed or challenged by a referendum on where to build a new stadium. That won't happen, because in the summer members of City Council put the kibosh on the referendum concept. The vote was 6-3 against letting the voters have a say in resolving this 10-year-old controversy.  

Nonetheless, because they think it’s not the best use of land that was an important slave market before emancipation, we know thousands oppose such a development. And, we know thousands oppose baseball in the Bottom, because they think the Boulevard is a better location for professional baseball to be played. There may be other reasons to not shoehorn a ballpark into Shockoe Bottom, but those are the two most often cited.

But it seems the two largest groups opposed to baseball in the Bottom -- who should be political allies -- haven't found a way to work in unison effectively, to achieve a common goal. Which very well may be a big reason some officials at City Hall seem to think they can do as they please on this matter.


DefendersFJE said...

I don't understand. Who says they're not working together? There's tremendous overlap between the two groups. - Phil Wilayto, Editor, The Virginia Defender

F.T. Rea said...

Mr. Wilayto,

Having written about this issue for 10 years, I've had many conversations with Richmonders of all stripes about it. Read quite a bit about it, too.

Therefore, on this matter, I don’t need to be told what I can see and understand for myself. Hey, I can also understand why an activist might want to try convince me the relationship between the groups is strong. Please, spare me the propaganda.

One of the things that has puzzled me in recent years was why the two largest groups opposing the ballpark in the Bottom seemed incapable of banning together to stand under one banner. Recently, I suspect I have seen one reason why.

DefendersFJE said...

I think you meant "banding," not "banning." Don't be so negative.

F.T. Rea said...

Thank you.