Montelione says Tampa's Bro Bowl skateboard park may be rebuilt, not preserved

04/04/13 Seán Kinane
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There’s a fight to save a historic skateboard bowl in downtown Tampa from encroaching development.

During public comment at this morning’s Tampa City Council meeting, Shannon Bruffett, a representative from the Skateboarding Heritage Foundation asked council to protect what’s known as the Bro Bowl in Perry Harvey Park.

Bruffett had a receptive audience in council member Lisa Montelione.

"I know that it is sacred ground to those who've use it and it's been memorialized in different videos and is known around the world, not just here in Tampa. I don't know that the historic significance of the Bowl, otherwise known as the Bro Bowl if I'm putting that correctly, is appreciated by a lot of people because they don't understand and they're not familiar with the skateboarding culture and the movement throughout the United States and the world. Watching the X games and the competitions that take place all over the world it is an important piece of history to be preserved and from what my discussions with the parks department was is that they had looked into preserving it. They had looked into moving it and there are challenges which I'm sure you've discussed when you talk to the people at Kinley Horne about moving the structure and that in some ways the quality of the surface of the Bowl would be degraded. The Bowl is planned in the schematics that I had seen of what the park is going to look like but it's not moving the Bowl piece by piece because that would be impossible to improve the structural integrity and the safety of those who are using it. If we could recreate it, I think it would be a better surface for those who are still using it. I'm not sure if that would satisfy what you're trying to do."

"Yes ma'am. I don't want to take up a whole lot more of your time with this issue because I know you've got a busy day but that is one of our...we're not reflectable on that but the reason why I've provided these current pictures from last month is to speak to the condition of the Bowl, and that the local skateboard community is providing support for the Bowl by repainting it, conditioning the surface, but ultimately should it not be preserved that's our next step of planning.."

"I just want to make sure that that is a viable alternative and put on the record that it may not be preserved as it sits today but recreated and providing a better facility than what we have now while still recreating the history because it is an important piece of our city and it does bring a lot of attention in a part of the city that is...I think the first movement to integrate us as you had mentioned here in your handout"

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