Hiding the Homeless in San Diego for Baseball
Some old fashion reporting and a Facebook page have come up with an interesting story surrounding the Major League Baseball “All-Star Game” scheduled to be played in San Diego on July 12.
Apparently, San Diego Padres ownership did not like homeless encampments near the Padres ballpark. A plan apparently was hatched between the Padres ownership and the city of San Diego to place jagged rocks on the I-5 highway underpass and streets that lead to the Padres’ ballpark to discourage homeless people from living on those streets.
The problem according to the “Voice of San Diego” is simple. The city of San Diego claimed residents of the local Sherman Heights neighborhood requested the cleanup, but the “Voice of San Diego” decided to look into the story and found something totally different. The “Voice of San Diego” website publicly requested e-mails and found that the Padres management and the city began seeking a solution last year to get the homeless away from the ballpark vicinity, and none of the correspondence mentioned residents of Sherman Heights. The installation of jagged rocks and a fences were both pieces of the puzzle.
Now, the homeless have moved into other parts of Sherman Heights. Meanwhile, Padres ownership is denying the claims surrounding the clean-up efforts for the All-Star Game although they did want clean sidewalks and roadways leading to the stadium. On Facebook, there is a “Homeless News” in San Diego page with numerous comments about how putting rocks down will not solve the plight of the homeless.
Cities have swept up streets before big events. For example, prior to the Super Bowl in Santa Clara, Ed Lee, mayor of San Francisco told the homeless they had to leave. The mayor did not want the high rollers who go to Super Bowl parties or the media to see that San Francisco had a homeless problem. Why ruin a sports party?
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.