A Hamilton comic-book-store owner and wrestling promoter whose efforts to host Friday-evening professional wrestling events on Hamilton’s West Side was rejected by a city board this month has turned on the “Bat Signal,” asking wrestling fans to sign petitions on his behalf.
So far, 375 have.
Brian LeVick, owner of Future Great Comics on Main Street and Future Great Wrestling, hopes that at the Jan. 16 meeting of the Hamilton Planning Commission all seven commissioners will be there and an amended plan for professional-wrestling shows — capping them at 225 spectators for the initial six months, rather than 265 — will win approval for Future Great Wrestling events.
“I’m putting out the Bat Signal to You, the people of Hamilton, surrounding areas, those that respect wrestling and desire a positive entertainment outlet, and those offended by putting labels on a new business and people before giving it a chance,” LeVick wrote in a recent Facebook post. “Please contact the city of Hamilton, the planning commission, and sign the petition that will follow this post to allow Wrestling in Hamilton!”
His initial effort failed in a 3-3 vote of the planning commission, which expressed concerns about parking, although city staffers had performed calculations and concluded there was sufficient parking in the property’s lot.
There may be a special planning commission meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 16, in city council chambers at the Hamilton city building, 345 High St. to take up the matter.
Events are to start at 7:30, with most ending at 9:30 or 10 p.m., with special events going to 10:30 p.m., LeVick said. He plans to emphasize to customers where they should and should not park, including on private residential streets in the area.
Fay Baker, of a nearby condominium complex where the older residents expressed concerns about parking, noise, and potential fights outside the events at 190 N. Brookwood Ave., in an interview Friday said the youngest resident of her 39-unit complex is probably in her 50s, with most in their 70s, and some in their 90s.
The older residents don’t want to be hearing noise while they’re trying to sleep, she said.
LeVick on Facebook has argued pro wrestling is more family-friendly and peaceful than the neighbors realize.
He wrote on Facebook, in seeking the petition signatures: “As many of you know already, many wrestlers & their fans are nothing like this. They are respectable family men & women with kids, good jobs, and big hearts.”
On the other hand, LeVick conceded that the images wrestlers portray, even in his organization’s promotional videos, where the announcer playfully pretends to fear one of the wrestlers, goes against that image.
“I mean, I look scary myself, unless you get to know me,” he said with a laugh. “I’ll be the first to admit it.”
LeVick this week told the planning commission pro wrestling can improve the city’s quality of life by offering an entertainment alternative.
“West Hamilton needs a place for people to go to, so that we can kind-of spread it (development) out in Hamilton,” he said. “I know we’re working High Street, and Main Street, and German Village, but it would be nice to complete that trifecta with the West Side of Hamilton.”