Lil Wayne’s New Orleans Skatepark Might Be Closing
Back in 2012, Lil Wayne and Mountain Dew held a highly-publicized ribbon-cutting ceremony in New Orleans to celebrate the opening of "Trukstop Skatepark" in the city's Lower 9th Ward as part of the "DEWeezy" marketing campaign. Despite high hopes for the project, and a supposed new place for at-risk youths to spend their time, the skatepark has been unusable for the children since the grand opening back in September of 2012.
The Glu Agency--a high-profile ad agency who partnered with Wayne and Mountain Dew--had originally signed a leasing agreement that included paying the skatepark's current mortgage in full and covered all maintenance and repair. But, the agreement did not include coverage of electric, plumbing, heating or cooling systems. The Lower 9th Ward Village Community Center--where the skatepark is located--is now facing financial difficulties and may have to close. Once Mountain Dew distanced itself from Weezy after his controversial lyric about Emmett Till on the remix of "Karate Chop", it seemed that all financial support for the skatepark dried up.
Weezy also reportedly removed himself from all involvement with the park's construction and management. Via a statement, Wayne says, "It was my intention, through my relationship with brand partners, to provide the good people of New Orleans with a skatepark. Unfortunately, the deal did not work out, and due to issues beyond my control, I am no longer involved with the skatepark. Helping New Orleans has always been important to me. My team and I are looking into other initiatives for the future."
Now that the park is on the verge of being closed for good and with no support from either Lil Wayne or PepsiCO (who owns Mountain Dew), Lower 9th citizen and the founder of the Lower 9th Ward Village Community Center, Ward "Mack" McClendon, is attempting to raise $160,000 to avoid foreclosure on the center.