No Stadium in the Bottom! claims victory after Squirrels sign extended lease

by | Nov 20, 2014 | POLITICS

In a web of stories which for some reason haven’t been linked by any of the other publications in town, the group opposing baseball in the Bottom have declared victory.


In a web of stories which for some reason haven’t been linked by any of the other publications in town, the group opposing baseball in the Bottom have declared victory.

City Council approved a lease extension for the Richmond Flying Squirrels back on 11/11/14, and this move has signaled the final death-blow for the stadium, at least as the plan exists now.

The RTD reported on the lease extension back in mid October:

The team’s rent would be $162,500 per season, which is the same amount the Squirrels would have paid if the team’s previous lease with the RMA had continued.

“For the most part, it’s very similar to what they had with the RMA,” said David Hicks, senior policy adviser to the mayor.

Lou DiBella, the president and managing general partner of the Squirrels, characterized it as “basically the same terms.” He said the lease proposal is “really no surprise since there’s no place else to go.”

“I’ve known for a while that we would be at The Diamond for the foreseeable future, and we’re going to continue to have fun at The Diamond,” DiBella said. “We’re going to be there for a couple more years; we will be doing some upgrades. We’ll talk more about that in the future.”

The folks at No Stadium in Shockoe are seeing that as a clear, though maybe only temporary, win, proclaiming “VICTORY IN THE SHOCKOE BOTTOM STADIUM STRUGGLE!”

Via Shockoebottom.blogspot.com:

Bowing to years of growing local, national and international pressure, Richmond City Council voted Nov. 10 to keep baseball on the Boulevard, where it has been played for nearly 60 years. This effectively kills – for now – the reactionary, developer-driven proposal to build a baseball stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom, once the center of the massive U.S. domestic slave trade.

As we celebrate this important victory, we call on all defenders of Black History to rededicate ourselves to reclaiming and memorializing a section of Shockoe Bottom in order to pay homage to the hundreds of thousands of Black people who suffered and resisted on this sacred ground.

It’s been a long process with protests, ad campaigns, projections, and everything in between. And with a Mayoral election coming up in the next year, don’t be surprised if this issue is brought back up.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner is the former editor of GayRVA and RVAMag from 2013 - 2017. He’s now the Richmond Bureau Chief for Radio IQ, a state-wide NPR outlet based in Roanoke. You can reach him at BradKutnerNPR@gmail.com




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