The Florida Venture Forum recently hosted a luncheon featuring Tom Hall’s vision for downtown Tampa — making Tampa cool. The ideas reportedly included monorail unifying Tampa and St. Petersburg, moving sidewalks and some greater focus on medical technology.
Also included was his viewpoint that Tampa could be positioned as the city of sculptures by highlighting a distinctive sculpture in several parks.
And, he urges that we forget about baseball, which he apparently regards as outdated thinking.
The “city of sculptures”? And forget about baseball? Outdated thinking for downtown development? Really?
I’m having a hard time imagining Tampa’s civic pride swelling significantly over some newly acquired sculptures — as we wave goodbye to the Rays leaving for another city! If we want to be a “major league city” and be perceived as elite, does anyone really believe that the branding platform to get us there should be focused on sculptures?
Perhaps Hall should more closely study the experiences of Denver, St. Louis, Cleveland and some other major league cities. I simply can’t think of a reason why a new stadium wouldn’t serve to continue the revitalization of what has been a long-time sleepy downtown. And a new downtown stadium would tie in nicely to promotion of the Riverwalk.
Let’s leave the sculptures in the capable hands of museum curators — and we do have great museums to visit in the area. I, for one, would prefer to live and work in a major league city. I wonder how many would ride Hall’s envisioned monorail to a minor league game?