Second Place: Shockoe Bottom
Third Place: Short Pump
In this interminable stadium debate, we're all losers. But in our readers' poll, the Boulevard beats Shockoe Bottom as best place for a new ballpark — by a mile. We're talking 48 percent to 22 percent. The Boulevard has history on its side. It's been the home of baseball here for 60 years, host to the Richmond Braves from 1954-2008. When that team left, a minor-league affiliate, the Flying Squirrels, moved in. But Shockoe Bottom has Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones as its chief advocate. He says that if the city builds a stadium just east of downtown, the city can develop the land it owns on the Boulevard into a mixed-use development that he projects will bring the city a much-needed cash windfall. Is it too late for a third option? Voters suggest Short Pump, with plenty of developable land and none of the historical considerations that have tangled the Shockoe proposal in controversy. Who knows? If people cared as much about actually attending Squirrels' games as debating where the team should play, the franchise probably could afford to build its own damn ballpark wherever it wants.