- Associated Press - Sunday, August 16, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - St. Petersburg is aiming to become the region’s skateboarding destination by building a 32,000-square-foot skate park across Interstate 175 from Tropicana Field.

The Tampa Bay Times reports (https://bit.ly/1UIQuga) the City Council recently approved $1.6 of earmarked funds for parks and recreation uses. Officials hope to have a state-of-the-art facility open by winter 2016.

The city hopes it might be able to compete for national and international competitions.

For skateboarding enthusiasts, the city’s support is a big shift from the days when people were ticketed for riding boards on downtown sidewalks, forcing them to pay a fine before they could retrieve it from the bowels of the police headquarters.

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