Tampa iconic skate park gets face lift

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – It was the news skateboarders all over Tampa Bay and the world had been waiting for – the Bro Bowl is back in business. The globally-known attraction has two unique distinctions. It is one of the last remaining skate parks from the 1970s and the first public skate park in the state of Florida.

Now, that Bro Bowl 2.0 is up and running, city officials and skaters alike are celebrating. But, this project was not a brief or easy process. It came after years of wrangling over preservation and historical haggling.

City officials planning a redesign of Perry Harvey Park Senior found themselves in a ‘bowl battle.’ The controversy was between those who wanted to save the Bro Bowl from demolition and those who wanted to see Perry Harvey Park revamped in the downtown Tampa landscape.

In the end, everyone got what they wanted.

“This was an awesome compromise for Tampa, to get a new skate park and to get the history of skateboarding in Tampa honored. It’s looking excellent,” said Shannon Bruffet from the Skateboarding Heritage Foundation.

The park was packed on Saturday, as Mayor Bob Buckhorn joined skaters of all ages to cut the red ribbon, ushering in a revitalized piece of Tampa history.

“I’ve been skating here since I was 12 years old, and I’m 42 now. So, that’s a long time,” said skater Mike Goodwine.

The Mayor gamely welcomed the challenge of lying on the ground as skaters jumped over him. “As they say down here, I’m totally stoked that we did this and got it open now,” he said with a huge smile, lifting his arms in the air to cheer after the skateboarders safely completed their jump.

He told reporters, “To be able to do an amazing park, that pays history to our African-American community and to accommodate the skaters at the same time, really turned out to be a win-win for everybody.”

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