The City of Seattle is preparing for this week’s 2023 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Lumen Field in a number of traditional ways. But, one thing unique on this year’s agenda was the desire of municipal leaders to do some extra social cleaning leading up to the gala event.
Seattle cleared RVs and tents in the SODO neighborhood ahead of the big slate of All-Star Week events. The city said the cleanup was not related to All-Star Week, but instead part of the city’s ongoing work in the neighborhood. The cleanup came after some SODO business owners near the ballpark asked the city to clear an RV encampment.
Tents, motor homes, and makeshift shelters have been moved out. Now? Concrete blocks and No Parking signs prohibit anyone from parking there until July 11. That seems to perfectly coincide with the day of the game, and it’s also a common sense approach to address the situation ahead of time.
However, Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office insists the city has made no extra effort to clear homeless encampments before the Midsummer Classic. Despite this, many observers feel like it’s an effort by The Emerald City to try and cover up one of its biggest problems: the abundance of homelessness and general loitering that takes place within the municipality.
This is not a new situation, and this unfortunate move was necessitated by a homeless problem in the city that has gotten out of hand. With tourism in Seattle beginning to make a bit of a comeback, any negative perception could potentially drive away future revenue. And that’s not something that the city necessarily wants to highlight while under a Major League magnifying glass.
Still, the move is being portrayed as completely independent of baseball’s big bash. So to many critics, it appears to be more like a ‘Nothing-To-See-Here’ kind of scenario. With a whole lot of political nonsense sprinkled on the top for good measure.
Efforts have been made to reach out to the displaced and affected. The city said that out of 24 people staying at the encampment, seven accepted an offer of shelter elsewhere.
Multiple local outlets are reporting that activists are threatening to disrupt the game over the clearout. Flyers had been circulating for the past week calling for an “RV Park-In,” in Sodo. However, no group has stepped forward as the organizer of such a protest. As of now, it appears that any kind of demonstration will be minor.
Amidst all of this commotion, there WILL actually be a ball game taking place. The American League host the National League in their 92nd Midsummer Meet-Up since 1933. The AL currently leads the historical series with a 47–43–2 record.