F.T. Rea 
Member since Apr 1, 2009


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Re: “Joe Morrissey is Resigning

Just in the Richmond metro area, this is the second rather unusual self-serving contortion-of-a-special-election strategy we've seen this year. First Eric Cantor, now Joe Morrissey. At least the acrid smell of cynicism in the air is bipartisan.

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by F.T. Rea on 12/18/2014 at 12:50 PM

Re: “End Game

Last year at this time a lot of people thought the push for Shockoe Stadium would be impossible to stop. Remember the “LovingRVA” campaign? While I have no idea what the mayor will do next, I think the combined efforts of many people in Richmond -- some working in groups, others on their own -- have indeed stopped it. Even if Mayor Dwight Jones has one more trick up his sleeve, at this point, the smart money would bet against the mayor getting the support from City Council he needs.

Now Jones’ lack of finishing power, his inability to deliver on his convoluted plan, is plain for everyone to see. Still, no one should be surprised that the same mayor who was so easy to convince to ignore the will of the people would not know when to admit he's been defeated.

Maybe it’s time to forget about Jones, the lamest duck in town, and celebrate what has happened and not happened over the last year. If the baseball-in-the-Bottom's goose has been cooked, let’s have a party!

27 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by F.T. Rea on 11/18/2014 at 4:04 PM

Re: “Retracing Steps

According to the Eastern League’s web site the total attendance at The Diamond for Flying Squirrels games last season was 418,147, which was an average of 6,336 per game. In 2013 the average was 6,689 per game. The Squirrels do a good job of promoting and presenting, so those figures were the best in their league.

If they pack up and move to Shockoe Bottom, could they take all those fans with them?

Of course, the answer is no. Location matters in any business.

Then, when the makeup of the 6,336 fans in 2014 is studied further, one will find that most of those fans don’t live in the city. So how many of the Little League groups from counties such as Goochland or Hanover would follow the team to Shockoe Bottom? How many of the church groups from counties such as Chesterfield or Henrico would follow the team to Shockoe Bottom? How many of the suburbanite fans who never go downtown would follow? How many fans who are disgusted with the politics of shoehorning a stadium into Shockoe Bottom would boycott the games?

The answer for all those questions is the same -- we don’t know. But before anyone talks about adding more to the attendance figures, by suggesting that a new stadium would create thousands of new baseball fans, they must make up for the loss in fans that a different location would surely involve. On top of that, to claim the fickle barhopping crowd in the metro area will turn out in droves to watch baseball games all season, and the next season, etc., because of the lure of the new stadium is absurd. The makers of such claims don’t seem to know much about local baseball fans or the nature of the barhopping crowd.

The Boulevard and Shockoe Bottom are two very different neighborhoods. Although proponents of the mayor’s so-called “revitalization” scheme like to tout the beauty of the Bottom and deride the rundown and dangerous aspects of the Boulevard, that’s not necessarily how all those baseball fans from the suburbs look at it. Many of them like the Boulevard because they can hop off and back onto the highway without having to drive around in the city.

Then there are some other troubling numbers. A friend of mine who is knowledgeable in the bonds market tells me that in recent years the bonds for publicly-financed athletic facilities, stadiums, areas, etc., have been performing poorly. Which comes as no surprise. The era for believing that a community is well served by fronting the money to build a stadium for sports is over. The fad has run its course.

10 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by F.T. Rea on 11/12/2014 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Retracing Steps

This visionary piece makes sense. Kudos to its writer.

Of course, some of the boosters for the mayor’s plan to build a stadium in Shockoe Bottom will never stop pushing their propaganda. Making up numbers to support their cause is routine. Pretending they know 100,000 more people would attend the games over a season at Shockoe Stadium than have on the Boulevard is just a fantasy!

So I expect they will chime in to throw cold water on this essay's proposals. Meanwhile, most Richmonders simply don’t want baseball in the Bottom. That‘s true whether they want a slavery museum, or not. Here’s more truth:

From now on there’s going to be a lot more money made in revealing the story of the slave market in Richmond than there will be in keeping it buried. So the habitual cover-up of Richmond’s slave market history has to end for good. A world class slavery museum in Richmond is a big idea that needs study. Mary Shelden has offered us a concept that should be taken seriously and expanded upon.

39 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by F.T. Rea on 11/04/2014 at 6:08 PM

Re: “The Grace Era

By the way, for those who might want to know more about WRIR’s RVA Music History Tour and its own related archives go here: http://wrirrvamusichistory.tumblr.com/

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by F.T. Rea on 10/23/2014 at 2:57 PM

Re: “Marshall Resignation Prompts Lawsuit

Bravo! Carol.

33 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by F.T. Rea on 09/30/2014 at 3:27 PM

Re: “Gag Me

Bravo!

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by F.T. Rea on 09/23/2014 at 9:55 PM

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