by Pat Freeman
On April 10, 2012, I went public on a comprehensive plan to change the economic landscape of the Western New York region. Upon the invitation of Majority Leader Demone Smith, Buffalo Common Council, I made my first pitch on building a new Downtown Stadium Complex. Little did I realize that this became the number #1 story in Western New York?
Every radio show and TV Station in the area covered this initial announcement. The story appealed to a number of citizens of a region that had many promises of economic change. Meetings have been held with the Mayor of Buffalo, County Executive of Erie County , chairman of the Empire State Development Corp, Niagara Frontier Transit Authority, Erie County Legislature, various state representatives, and a multitude of forums.
The overwhelming response has been favorable across the region, especially where the concerns of financing, parking and the overall benefits of a project of this nature are properly explained. The problem that lies in making this project a reality has existed in Buffalo for a lot of years. We have private interest groups who use economic privilege to influence open development in this area. Such a technique is not new, and is being implemented around the country. The remake of modern urban centers that cater to the interest of certain groups eventually creates selected population shifts. During years past in Buffalo we have seen what these policies have done to the poor population of this region. They are systematically being moved out of your urban centers, and relocated to the once prosperous suburbs. Yes it is happening before your very eyes people! The proliferation of ice skating rinks, and ice skating is part of every urban plan including Martin Luther King park.
I have no problem with such a plan a more even distribution of economic opportunity is clearly indicated. Why not a project that benefits the whole and not just the few? Why not a project that opens the door for a broader numbers of people? While I applaud progress, the question remains why the opposition to a project that would dwarf all the present construction? Why are our elected officials not willing to take on private interest? The new Downtown Stadium Complex proposal is an economic game changer that will open the economic door to everyone. Most importantly it would create 10-15,000 jobs, increase tourism, and become the real anchor of a new inclusive Buffalo, New York.
If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 4-5:00PM hosted by WUFO Sports Director Patrick Freeman on 1080AM WUFO radio or via the internet at www.wufoam.com. Or catch Sports Update for clbTV (ch.20 Buffalo) and YouTube. Also join us for the number#1 recap show every Monday at 7:25AM with Lee Pettigrew, and The Mighty O’Ba Pat Freeman.