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Richmond ballpark revenues could be used for other purposes

New Richmond ballpark

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones says some of the revenues generated by economic development at the Boulevard and Shockoe Bottom could be devoted to other uses, such as schools and parks.

The offer comes at a time when Jones is pushing hard for a plan that would tear down The Diamond, the current home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League) and free that land for development, with proceeds used to fund development at Shockoe Bottom that would include a new Flying Squirrels ballpark. It’s a plan that’s met with plenty of opposition on a couple of levels: ballpark opponents don’t want to see a sporting facility in an area with a past as a slave-trade area, and others don’t want to see privately industry benefiting from public spending. Whether the City Council will move forward with the plan remains to be seen — “I can’t say that I’m confident” there are seven votes for passage, says Jones — and if there’s no new ballpark, it’s unclear whether the Flying Squirrels will stay in Richmond. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

“I think that as we continue to negotiate with City Council people and get them on board, that there’s probably going to be some designated streams that go to some various places that people feel very strongly about,” Jones said during a meeting with the editorial board of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The mayor didn’t elaborate on the point because the negotiations haven’t taken place, but one likely beneficiary of a designated revenue stream would be the city schools, which several council members have been seeking to bolster with new funding sources.

The mayor made another plea for the Shockoe Bottom plan at today’s State of the City address.

RELATED STORIES: Richmond ballpark opponents: Map used to justify location is inaccurate; Richmond purchase of Diamond: Making way for Shockoe Bottom ballpark; Alternative plan pitched for Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom: No new ballpark; Flying Squirrels lease: $1.7M annually; naming rights could lower that number; Squirrels ballpark plan include hotel, apartments, grocery; Richmond quietly positions for new ballpark; Activists: Ballpark not best use for Shockoe Bottom; Poll: Squirrels home should be built next to current ballpark; Richmond: No vote on ballpark location; Flying Squirrels: Fans don’t know what they are missing; Richmond committee: Don’t put ballpark location to vote; Richmond ballpark location may be decided by voters; New Richmond ballpark: on or off?; Shockoe Bottom gaining momentum as Flying Squirrels ballpark site?; Progress made on new Richmond ballpark: McEacharn; MiLB squirrelly about new Richmond ballpark; Flying Squirrels: New ballpark still a priority; Flying Squirrels extend Diamond lease, setting stage for ballpark improvements; Experts: Downtown ballpark could revitalize Richmond; Squirrels: No plans to leave Richmond “at the present time”; Didn’t take long: Opposition rises to Richmond Shockoe Bottom ballpark siteRichmond ballpark discussion shifts back to Shockoe Bottom; Manchester in play as well; Richmond: Yes, we really do intend on building a new ballparkBudget issues postpone Squirrels ballpark to 2015 at the earliestNew Richmond ballpark by 2014?; DiBella: Time to start talking new ballpark; Flying Squirrels throw out first offer on new ballparkBaseball returns to Richmond’s Diamond — but for how long?


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