Tampa mayor thinks evicting poor African-American families to make way for Rays stadium is great idea

So now that Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg can look elsewhere in the Tampa Bay area for a stadium site, where’s he going to look? How about the site of a low-income housing complex? The mayor of Tampa sure thinks so!

Mayor Bob Buckhorn couldn’t deny he had a favorite site.

It’s the Tampa Park Apartments, a nearly 50-year-old apartment complex for 372 low-income families between downtown and Ybor City.

“I don’t hide my optimism for that particular site,” he said after a City Hall news conference Friday.

This led to one of the most amazingly understated series of words ever to appear in any U.S. newspaper:

The complex also presents a challenge: It’s full of poor, mostly black families, some who have lived there for generations.

So wouldn’t evicting them for a new stadium just repeat what happened in St. Petersburg’s Gas Plant neighborhood before Tropicana Field was built?

“That would be the biggest issue,” Buckhorn conceded.

The Tampa Tribune also provides its own coverage of the proposal, none of which includes the sentence, “Holy crap, the mayor of Tampa really wants to evict a thousand poor people so he can build a new stadium for the local baseball team owner, is he campaigning for the role of supervillain in the next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie or what?” Which is technically a run-on sentence, so that’s probably why it got edited out.


10 comments on “Tampa mayor thinks evicting poor African-American families to make way for Rays stadium is great idea

  1. As I’ve said before, there is absolutely no bottom limit to Hillsborough County or Tampa politicians in what they deem acceptable, from a financial or moral standpoint, to get professional sports into the community.

    If there were an opposite to the term “investigative journalism,” it would be a perfect description of the Tampa Tribune–a paper almost managed by its sports section.

  2. So, which site in Hillsborough is leader up and actually has a chance? Right. The one near Tampa airport….. heading to Montreal….

  3. And Chavez Ravine, of course.

    Btw, if you go on Twitter, I’m having a long debate with a politico “social media consultant” about the cost of relocating all these people. Best guess so far is $100m including land, which will be paid for presumably with the magic beans left over from paying for the stadium.

  4. Steven, where did you hear that? Miller Park was built in the parking lot for old County Stadium. The new arena is being built where an old freeway used to stand. For the many flaws of both stadium deals, displacing low income (or any) residents was not one of them.

    • No it wasn’t done for Miller park. Think it was done for a highway that was never needed or built. Although not sure if new Bucks arena was placed in the area of that land grab.

      • It was done to displace the people of that area and to gentrify for development purpose. They used the highway excuse for eminent domain.

    • This happened in 90’s and the highway was never built , but might have been started. In last ten years I believe the plug was pulled on that highway project. It spent years in limbo just to hide that is was a land grab.

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