Baseball stadium referendum strikes out before council

Posted at 8:31 PM, Jul 08, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–Richmond’s city council has made a formal decision to not allow a baseball stadium referendum on the ballot this November.

After more than an hour of public comment, much of it in opposition to the building of a new baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom, council members voted 6-3 not to put a referendum on the ballot.

“To prohibit the use of City-owned or City-acquired real estate not located within the area of the city bounded by Interstate 64 / 95 to the north, Hermitage Road to the east, West Leigh Street to the south and North Boulevard to the west for a baseball stadium or facilities ancillary to a baseball stadium?”

That was the question Richmond City Council President Charles Samuels wanted voters to answer in the November election.

Last week a council committee rejected the proposal, and said the public doesn’t have enough information to make an informed decision.

Because every city council member sits on that committee, tonight’s vote was considered a mere formality.

City Council member Kathy Graziano told CBS 6 that a plan needs to be announced by Mayor Dwight Jones sooner rather than later.

It has been long rumored that the mayor is considering a proposal to move the Flying Squirrels to Shockoe Bottom.

However, when CBS 6 requested specifics by the mayor’s office on what Jones envisions and where he envisions it, the response was general.

“The administration’s recommendation on a location for baseball will be made based on the best information and data for the city’s growth and prosperity,” Tammy Hawley, the Mayor’s spokeswoman, said.