Note: There has been so much media coverage of this issue that it hasn't been possible for us to post all the stories here. Following are just some of the news reports.

In Text Messages, Developer Offers Ballpark Advice to City Official

Video from March 29 "Before It's Too Late" Archaeology Symposium

Group starts petition drive for stadium-related referendum
BY GRAHAM MOOMAW Richmond Times-Dispatch | Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014 11:30 pm
"A group seeking a voter referendum related to Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ proposed Shockoe Bottom development plan has filed paperwork with the Richmond Circuit Court to begin collecting petition signatures, said former state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Goldman, who is spearheading the effort.
The proposed referendum language was filed with the court Friday morning and involves two changes to the city charter, Goldman said.
The first would create a Shockoe historic review commission that would have to issue a report before development could occur.
The second would allow three council members to request an advisory referendum on matters related to stadiums or arenas, while four council members could call referendums related to bonds and pledges of the city’s “moral authority” to back public projects. Currently, a council majority has to pass a resolution to call a referendum.
The intent, Goldman said, is to make the government more responsive to the public’s wishes."

“The public just wants to be able to express themselves,” he said.

GOLDMAN: Mayor Jones giving $200 million freebie to Shockoe proposal developers

"RICHMOND, Va. – How many sports stadiums have been built in America in recent years where YOU, THE PUBLIC, was forced to guarantee 100 percent of all the stadium costs and the other improvements required by the developers? That’s right, the Mayor’s proposed Shockoe stadium is a totally public-funded construction deal. There is no contribution from the developers directly covering any construction costs." - Posted on: 9:31 am, March 20, 2014, by Paul Goldman, updated on: 11:43am, March 20, 2014

 WRIC Channel 8 Newsclip of Down Town Shockoe Bottom Tour On Saturday, a Richmond organization of young African-Americans called Urban AWAREness conducted a tour of slavery-related sites in Shockoe Bottom. One of the speakers was Richmond historian Elizabeth Kambourian, who pointed out four slave-trading sites within the footprint of the proposed baseball stadium and seven more in the proposed development area. This is the first time this information has been made public. Channel 8 didn't mention the sites, but here's a link to a video of her presentation: 

Richmond official seeks UNESCO application for Shockoe slavery sites

BY Graham Moomaw  -  
Richmond Times-Dispatch  -  Dec. 25, 2013

As the city seeks to jump-start efforts to commemorate Richmond’s slave-trading history through the use of corporate fundraising and city and state funding, a city councilman wants to elevate Shockoe Bottom to the ranks of the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Councilman Parker C. Agelasto of the 5th District has introduced a resolution that would instruct the city to pursue a collective UNESCO designation for Lumpkin’s Jail, the slave trail and the African burial ground.

Mayor Jones unveils plan for Shockoe Bottom; announcement met with protest; City Council delays vote on stadium ordinances; issue reported worldwide

"Richmond mayor plans ballpark on site of slave cemetery, market"

Those were two of the many headlines that went out across the country and around the world after Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones unveiled his plan Nov. 11 for a "development project" in the city's historic Shockoe Bottom.

The first story, by the Associated Press, appeared in newspapers across Virginia and was picked up by the Washington Post, Charlottesville Daily Progress, The (Lynchburg) News & Advance and many more.

The second, by the international Reuters agency, appeared in the Toronto Star, Ottawa Sun, African Press International, Namibia Press Agency and The New York Times (Nov. 12, 2013, page A17 of the New York edition with the headline: Virginia: Ballpark Sought On Site of Slave Market.)

Opponent speakers outnumber mayor's supporters at first public hearing on Shockoe Bottom stadium

Mayor to reveal Shockoe Bottom baseball stadium proposal Monday Posted: Nov 07, 2013 4:33 PM ESTUpdated: Nov 07, 2013 5:04 PM EST

"Gambling With Gold"
Opinion: Why Shockoe Bottom should be forever removed as a possible baseball stadium location. by David Herring 
Style Weekly, Back Page - Oct. 29, 2013

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Activists, scholars protest Shockoe Bottom ballpark plan
October 14, 2013

A formidable coalition of activists and historical scholars drew a line at Richmond City Hall today over an expected proposal by Mayor Dwight C. Jones to build a minor-league baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom in what one historian called "the heart of the interstate slave trade" in the antebellum South.

Associated Press:

Ballpark in Va. slave-trade center opposed
Monday, Oct. 14, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. Historians and community activists argued Monday that a section of Richmond that was home to the city's once-thriving slave-trading center is no place to build a minor league baseball park.

NOTE: This AP story has been picked up by newspapers around the country, including the (Charlottesville) Daily Progress, (Lynchburg, Va.) News & Advance, (Staunton, Va.,) News Leader, Charlotte Observer, Knoxville News Sentinel, Shelbyville (Tn.) Times-Gazette, (Tn.) State Gazette, West Virginia News, the Miami Herald, WXBC-Kentucky-State News and many news websites.


Group speaks out against yet-to-be-proposed Shockoe stadium
Oct. 14, 2013
By Scott Wise
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – In an apparent attempt to get ahead of the curve (ball), a group spoke out Monday against building a yet-to-be-formally-proposed baseball stadium in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom neighborhood.

NOTE: This story was also posted at

ABC Channel 8 - WRIC

Ballpark in Va. Slave-Trade Center Opposed
Oct. 14, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Activists and historians say a section of Richmond that was home to the city's slave-trading center is no place to build a ballpark.

Ballpark Digest

Opposition to Shockoe Bottom ballpark intensifies
Oct. 14, 2013

The very idea of a new Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League) ballpark in the city's Shockoe Bottom district is causing protests today because of the site's past as a slave-trading area.

The coalition of activists and academics oppose putting a ballpark in an area that was once the second-most-busy area for slave trading in the United States, behind New Orleans. Activists have worked for years to locate a slave-trading museum in the area, but funding has not materialized. Still, their contention is that a ballpark on a culturally sensitive area is inappropriate.

'Opposition coalesces against a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom'
Style Weekly - Oct. 11, 2013

By Ned Oliver

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones hasn’t formally released his plan to build a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom, but that isn’t stopping a long line of high-profile opponents from voicing their distaste for the idea.

One such group of heavy hitters announced today that it would hold a news conference in front of City Hall on Monday.

[See more at:]


“With Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones seemingly poised to announce a new stadium as part of a private economic development project in Shockoe Bottom, a strong majority of residents surveyed in all four jurisdictions say a new stadium should be built on the Boulevard. … [A] a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom faces significant political opposition, including concern that such a development would desecrate the sites of the notorious slave markets that flourished there until after the Civil War.”

"Protest to be held in Richmond to respect enslaved Africans"
PressTV - Wednesday Jun 19, 2013

"Civil rights activists in the city of Richmond, Virginia, will hold a protest at 5 p.m. Wednesday to voice their opposition against plans for building a commercial baseball stadium at the site of the auction houses where enslaved Africans were sold before the Civil War."

Up From the Valley 
By Edwin Slipek
Style Weekly, June 4, 2013

"They came from Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe: the untold history of Richmond’s first Jewish enclave."

"Activists Take Ballpark Protest to the Ballpark"
By Ned Oliver
Style Weekly, June 4, 2013

"A group of activists recently filed into The Diamond, climbed up to the general admission seats along left field and unfurled two banners. 'Squirrels like high ground,' one proclaimed. Next to it: 'No stadium in Shockoe.'"

"We've seen this double play before"
By A. Barton Hinkle
Richmond TImes-Dispatch, June 2, 2013

"Study after study has concluded that sports stadiums do not improve local economies. Think tanks across the ideological spectrum - from the laissez-faire Cato Institute to the centrist Brookings Institution to the left-wing Center for American Progress - all have reached that same conclusion."

"Denver Dreaming"
By Brian Glass
Style Weekly, May 14, 2013

"Richmond should take the time to look a little deeper when borrowing from other cities. Claims made by proponents of new ballparks usually are overstated."

"Is Boulevard the Next Short Pump?

By Scott Bass
Style Weekly, May 14, 2013

"It's a comparison that's beginning to gain traction in the run-up to Mayor Dwight Jones' all-but-expected announcement that City Hall supports building a $50 million ballpark in Shockoe Bottom. The plan: Tear down The Diamond, remove nearby city- and state-owned facilities - such as Richmond's fleet maintenance depot and the Arthur Ashe Center - and serve up 67 acres of prime real estate with easy access to Interstates 95 and 64."

"Denver Spark: Might trip spur progress on new Richmond ballpark?"
By John O'Connor
Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 7, 2013

"Professional baseball in Richmond has been played on the Boulevard since 1954, and The Diamond has stood there since 1985. City officials continue to evaluate a Shockoe Bottom location for a ballpark."

"Does Richmond Need Another Short Pump? Or a Shire?"
By Nicole Anderson Ellis
Henrico Monthly, May 2013

"Consider these facts: 
"• Tourism is Virginia’s second-largest industry, and growing. (No. 1? Still agriculture.)
"• Tourists spent $20 billion in Virginia last year, supporting 207,000 jobs and providing $1.32 billion in state and local taxes, according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
"• Every dollar spent on marketing Virginia tourism, reaps $5 in tax revenue. That’s a 5:1 return on our investment.
"• The top three reasons tourists visit Virginia? Scenic drives, colonial history, Civil War history sites."

"Can Richmond really afford its sports obsession?"
By Scott Bass
Style Weekly - April 23, 2013
"But in its fourth iteration, the Bottom ballpark plan is sure to run into heavy resistance. Activists worry that it will encroach on sacred ground next to the African Burial Ground and the site of Lumpkin's Jail.

"Demonstrators protest push for downtown ballpark" 
By Robert Zullo
Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 4, 2013

"Groups seek to protect 'sacred ground' in Shockoe Bottom."

"Will Richmond's legacy be the desecration of Shockoe Bottom?" 
By Phil Wilayto
The Virginia Defender - Spring 2013

"Richmond is at a crossroads. Corporate types with dollar signs in their eyes are on the verge of selling out our greatest collective treasure for a lousy bowl of porridge."

The Voter Detour: Whether you’re for or against the ballpark proposal, it’s worth heeding the lessons of the past.
By Michael Rogers, Style Weekly, Dec. 24, 2013


Slave History Clouds Shockoe Bottom Project
By Amy Biegelsen

Style Weekly, June 2, 2010

"Seeing the boarded-up windows and broken glass, a passerby would be forgiven for thinking that the vacant brick warehouse at 15th and Cary streets in Shockoe Bottom isn't all that important. But the building, which some people say was used for slave auctions in the 1800s, could become a microcosm of the city's efforts to revitalize the neighborhood while marketing the area's slave-trading history."

Reports on the viability of ballparks

Government-Funded Stadiums Not Worth Price of Admission
by Doug Bandow September 25, 2004

The Cost to Keep the Home Team May Not Be Worth It
by NPR STAFF, December 20, 2013 5:00 PM

Virginia struggle to defend Black history: ‘No stadium in Shockoe Bottom!’

By  on January 6, 2014
Charleston, S.C.; New Orleans; England’s Liverpool; Senegal’s Goree Island — all these places played major roles in the U.S. slave trade and all have museums that tell those stories.
But here in Richmond, Va., once the capital of the slavery-defending Confederacy and for decades the center of this country’s internal slave trade, a small group of “developers” and a compliant mayor are proposing to use the city’s former slave-trading district as the site for a new commercial baseball stadium.
The result has been Richmond’s biggest community battle in decades.

Stadium plan: In economic talks, mayor misplays race card

Jan. 17, 2014 - Richmond Times-Dispatch
By Michael Paul Williams

Four classrooms sprung a leak Tuesday at Fairfield Court Elementary School, located in an East End public housing community. Students from two of the rooms were moved to another part of the building. We mustn’t forget, amid the opening of a new Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, that there remains more than $100 million in unmet school maintenance needs in Richmond.

Despite such staggering decay and neglect, Mayor Dwight C. Jones wants to build a Shockoe Bottom ballpark that will require nearly $80 million in taxpayer funds as part of an economic development plan also involving the North Boulevard area.

Stadium advocacy by group that seeks tax exemption is questioned; Venture Richmond seeks tax exemption for amphitheater land

Jan. 17, 2014 - Richmond Times-Dispatch
By Graham Moomaw

Venture Richmond is seeking an exemption from Richmond real estate taxes for its riverfront property where the organization plans to build an amphitheater for the Richmond Folk Festival. But City Councilman Parker C. Agelasto raised concerns Thursday about rules concerning “propaganda” and the nonprofit’s activities related to the proposed baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom.

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