Like many supporters of St. Ambrose University’s stadium project, I have been asked: “What if this were in your neighborhood?”

The opponents of the SAU stadium fail to recognize that the St. Vincent’s neighborhood is not just their neighborhood -- it’s also the neighborhood of Assumption High School, SAU and every Catholic in the Diocese of Davenport. This collective community has been investing in the St. Vincent’s neighborhood since 1882.

Neighborhoods are not only comprised of the homes within its borders; they also contain businesses, schools, parks and places of worship used by those living not just across the street, but across town as well. The neighborhood of the St. Vincent Center is no different -- it contains a private grade school, large church, high school and flourishing private college, all used by those who live near and not so near. Those who bought property in this area, whether it was purchased five or 50 years ago, accepted a level of risk that someday the institution that owns the nearby vacant land could and likely would develop it.

St. Ambrose and the Diocese of Davenport always planned to do something with the land -- it just took them 132 years to get around to it.

I urge those within the communities of Assumption and St. Ambrose to let the city of Davenport know that the St. Vincent’s neighborhood is our neighborhood, too, and always has been. This is our opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for generations. Don’t make the mistake of remaining silent.

Joe Riley

Davenport