Ballpark Village: A Heads-Up About Cordish's Rep for Draconian Dress Codes

As you may have heard, the Ballpark Village deal was sealed last week.

Ballpark Village idiocy: No yurts -- and a Cordish dress code?!
Ballpark Village idiocy: No yurts -- and a Cordish dress code?!

Ballpark Village idiocy: No yurts -- and a Cordish dress code?!
The St. Louis Cardinals, the mayor's office and Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, the developer, have finally agreed on the project's size (sort of), scope (sort of) and financing (sort of).

Though it'll be a while yet before any foundation is poured, the Cardinals are saying they plan to put somethingin place before next year's All-Star Game. Sadly, we don't think it'll be yurts or crappie bait stands, as Unreal modestly suggested earlier this year in "It Takes a Village," our very own development proposal for the crater. Oh, well. At least we endeavored to employ a smidgen of creative vision.

Back to the expert here -- that is, Cordish, the developer for whom city hall had such a hard-on before Centene Corp. spoiled the party. Cordish has been building so-called entertainment districts across the nation for the past few years, and sparking plenty of controversy in the process, including across the state in Kansas City, where it recently developed the Power & Light District. While browsing a recent edition of our sister paper, KC's Pitch, we came upon the latest hullabaloo: dress codes.

Cordish, as the Pitch reports in a July 3 column by David Martin, banned white T-shirts from the Power & Light District, along with shorts that fall below the knees, shirts that fall below the pants pockets, athletic jerseys, work boots and, uh, mewelry, specifically necklaces on men. The ban, according to a Pitch blog, also extends to towels (whatever that might mean). Several Kansas City council members, as well as numerous citizens, have complained that the dress code reeks of racism, i.e. targets young African-American men and seeks to keep them off Power & Light property. Some have since dubbed the place "Power & White."

Apparently Kansas City is not the only place where Cordish has sought to dictate wardrobe morals. Citizens of Louisville and Cincinnati went berserk when the developer enforced similar dress codes in those cities. In Louisville some of the rules were changed after the American Civil Liberties Union intervened. But clearly Cordish intends to stick to its agenda, as evidenced in Kansas City.

Which makes you wonder what we might expect here in the Lou. When Ballpark Village finally opens in 2010, or '11, will it be even whiter and trashier than it is today?


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