Curveball: Mayor’s stadium pitch loses funding in City Council vote

Posted at 7:13 PM, May 02, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) --A plan to bring a baseball stadium to Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom may strike out after all.

On Wednesday CBS 6 told you about a pitch to build an entirely new stadium on the Boulevard.

Then it was a big night at Richmond City Council Thursday, as council voted on budget amendments proposed by 1st District Councilman Jon Baliles.

The council voted 5-4 to cut all funding for Mayor Dwight Jones' proposed ball-park development plan in Shockoe Bottom

That very close vote will cut $12 million from the proposed 2015 budget.

The money would have paid for road, water and electricity upgrades that would be needed if the stadium was built in the Bottom.

This doesn't mean his plan is done.

The mayor has 14 days to veto budget amendments, and then it would take six votes to over-ride that veto.

Baliles proposed the budget amendment as part of a plan to spend that money on improving schools and public safety instead. The reallocation plans are still pending.

Meanwhile, the developer behind a new baseball proposal that had wished to remain anonymous has come forward.

Midlothian developer Rekee has offered to privately finance a new stadium at the Boulevard.

According to Baliles, the Mayor’s current plan would cost the city $80 million, which would go toward building a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom, infrastructure improvements in the area, and a slavery heritage site.

Baliles said the private developers are willing to build with their own money a new stadium on ten of 61 acres on the Boulevard, as well as pay for the land.

However, he said with both proposals the city would still pick up the tab for site improvement costs on the Boulevard, which would cost around $7.5 million.

Baliles said the private developers met with all of the council members and the administration within the last month to show them the proposal.

You can learn more about that plan and the developer here.