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 forever. This was the day that on the invitation of Majority Leader Demone Smith of the Buffalo Common Council I made my first pitch on building a new Downtown Stadium Complex. Little did I realize at the time that this became the number#1 story in Western New York .
Every radio show and TV Station in the area covered this initial announcement because this story appealed to every citizen of a region that has been met with so many promises of economic change. Since the initial meeting I have met 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 conducted a multitude of forums on this issue.
Freeman standing next to the starting qb for the Bill’s final game, EJ Manuel.
The overwhelming response has been favorable across the region, especially when 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 have used economic privilege to influence open development in this area. This technique is nothing 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.
The poor are systematically being moved out of your urban centers, and will be 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. Please don’t get me wrong I have no problem with that but let’s have a more even distribution of economic development. Why not a project that benefits the whole and not just the few? Why not a project that opens the door for economic opportunity for everyone, not just a few? Please I applaud the economic development that is going on but at the same time I question why the opposition to a project that would dwarf all the present construction going on at this moment? Why are our elected officials not willing to take on private interest that stand in the way of real fair progress in this city? 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 most importantly become the real anchor of a new inclusive Buffalo, New York.
Pat Freeman writes for the Buffalo Criterion. If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 4:00-5:00PM hosted by WUFO Sports Director Patrick Freeman on 1080AM WUFO radio, radio app., Periscope, or via the internet at www.wufoam.com. Or catch Sports Update for clbTV (ch.20 Buffalo) and YouTube.