Source: Press Release
Date: May 30, 2003
Byline: Maureen Garrity
Free Love! Katz To Liberate Love ParkPhiladelphia, PA May 30, 2003 Mayoral candidate Sam Katz vowed today to liberate Love Park when he becomes mayor. Katz said he would bring in corporate sponsors to restore the park to skateboarders, rejuvenating a youthful attraction at no cost to taxpayers.
"Love Park is the perfect example of the "outside the box" thinking that we should be doing to realize the vision of a smart, growing and vibrant city, " Katz said. "Closing that park amounts to killing the youthful enthusiasm that we have been searching for. It is the same shortsighted thinking that has kept us from being counted among the elite cities in this country."
Katz said sneaker manufacturers and other companies who cater to the $1.5 billion a year skateboarding industry have seen a drop in business since the close of Love Park to boarders. The City has driven away young professional skaters earning hundreds of thousands and sent a clear message that Philadelphia is not a place where young energy is welcome.
"Someday, those kids will be college students and young professionals who, while they may not always ride a skateboard, will think of Philadelphia as a place that is friendly, creative and has energy and imagination," Katz said. "By embracing the opportunity presented by Love Park, Philadelphia can be that place."
Katz's background in sports business gives him the vision and experience to attract corporate sponsors in tasteful way, so that the park retains its public space characteristics.