Florida Times-Union editorial board all-in for 'entertainment zone' – Florida Politics (blog)
At the end of November, Florida Times-Union reporter Nate Monroe wrote one of those articles so pointed that television reporters, in a crash course on political committee finance, were asking follow-ups during gaggles.
Entitled “Political committee spending keeps many details of Mayor [Lenny] Curry’s trips in dark,” the piece examined some off-schedule trips the mayor took with Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan — dual-purpose excursions devoted to rainmaking for Curry’s political committee and exploring entertainment districts around sports stadiums in various cities.
Those cities included Baltimore, where the football team’s owner has bemoaned attendance troughs this season, and St. Louis, which lost its NFL franchise to Los Angeles (but still markets its baseball team).
The piece contained a graphic (“Anatomy of a political perk“) exploring Khan’s $200,000 spending into Curry’s political committee.
A sharp piece – one that could win awards the next time hardware is given out – despite the fact that the paper’s editorial board doesn’t seem to have read it.
On Thursday, the editorial board proved that money spent on political travel indeed was money well-spent, going all-in behind the concept in “Stadium area needs an entertainment zone.”
“Mayor Lenny Curry is right to push for a major entertainment district in the stadium area,” the editorialists write. “It’s an idea that is working well in peer cities like St. Louis and Kansas City.”
From there, the editorial offered a revisionist history version of the 2005 Super Bowl celebration.
National sportswriters bemoaned a surfeit of amenities, ranging from hotel rooms to taxicabs. There’s a reason that Jacksonville hasn’t been in the Super Bowl mix in the decade-plus since — one that Shad Khan spoke to in an article from January of this year.
Khan said: “Here in Jacksonville? Absolutely not. What it takes to