Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced that the world's largest cockfighting pit will soon occupy the large excavation in downtown that was to be the CentrePointe development.
"This will not only be the world's largest cockfighting pit, but the first municipally owned pit in the United States," Gray said.
Because of the substantial size of the hole, he said, not only chickens, but perhaps turkeys or even ostriches can fight there.
Gray noted the economic development that had been spurred by the renewed interest in cockfighting in Eastern Kentucky and said, "We can probably accommodate the entire population of Montgomery County in a pit that size."
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"This is the greatest municipal development since Lake Lexington fizzled out," crowed environmental activist Don "Rooster Tail" Pratt, who noted that chickens are a traditional Kentucky product, and that the urban chicken coop phenomenon will keep the pit well filled.
"I've got three banty roosters myself, that I got a good deal on," Pratt said "If they shape up well, I'll put them in the ring. And afterward, think of all the chicken and dumplings."
Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin, who got in hot water during last year's Republican Senate primary for attending a cockfighting rally, was also on hand for the announcement.
"It's funny how public opinion changes on these things," Bevin said. "I see how we have advanced our ideas on industrial hemp in Kentucky, and how other states have legalized marijuana itself, and I feel like I am the Gatewood of cockfighting."
Kent Ostrander, head of the Family Foundation of Kentucky, gave guarded approval of the project, so long as the chicken fights are only between chickens of the opposite sex. "Allowing same-sex fighting, where chickens of the same sex crow, argue, peck at each other, ruffle each other's feathers, and ultimately fight each other to the death is a clear danger to the traditional notion of marriage," he said.