In an interview with WFTV today, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said she is in favor of the proposed Parramore location for a soccer stadium because it will not displace any residents. The Mayor couldn’t be more wrong.
In fact, the displacement will happen much faster than if the city were to demolish home by home as they have been doing over the last decade. With the addition of another $100+ million soccer stadium in Parramore, the increases in property taxes and housing costs alone will displace most of the remaining residents in Parramore.
What Mayor Jacobs does not understand – probably because she has actually never been into Parramore by her own admission earlier this year – is that the average household income in Parramore right now is under the poverty line. Let me repeat. The majority of Parramore households earn less than $13,000 each year according to census reports. The average monthly housing cost in Parramore is currently around $330/month. The Parramore gentrification and displacement is clear.
A new stadium is not going to help, as Mayor Jacobs claims and she knows better. All national and academic studies show NO local economic impact, and in fact, publicly financed stadiums and pro sports teams could actually bring a negative local economic impact to surrounding small business.
She knows better because we have sat down together in her office and discussed these issues together. She understood and agreed with the facts and studies presented to her. She looked me in the eye and said she was concerned because she had never really been aware before this year.
And now it appears she is choosing to look the other way. Again.
(Cross-published at West Orlando News)