Mayor Stoney and city developers missing mark on Diamond District plans
6/2/2022, 6 p.m.
For the past two decades, I have been outspoken about the city failing to carry out the wishes of Arthur Ashe to build an African-American museum honoring the legacy African-American athletic achievement by way of his well-researched classic book series, “Hard Road to Glory.” In my view, such a facility, with the addition of an indoor sports complex, would be such a major game changer for the city to reap major tourist and revenue benefits for decades to come.
I was baffled at the naming of the current development, the Diamond District, and centering it all around the baseball facility. While I’m all for the building of a new baseball stadium, to just completely overlook Arthur Ashe as being the rightful center of such a development is mind boggling.
We are a city that’s privileged to be the birthplace of not only a world-class athlete, but an internationally renowned humanitarian and scholar. The most coveted honor of the ESPY sports awards is named for him. The city of New York has gone as far as building the No. 1 tennis stadium named for him in the nation that hosted the U.S. Open and other world-class tennis tournaments.
Arthur Ashe could have chosen any major city in the U.S. to carry out his last wishes. I really think those localities, without hesitation, would have followed through. Of course, there’s a school, statue and boulevard named for him. To me, all are good symbols. The museum, sports complex and learning center would be something amazing and clearly more of a measure of real substance and very much in line with representing his legacy.
STUART M. SPEARS