TAMPA (FOX 13) - Head to Tampa's Ballast Point park and it's clear - Pokémon Go isn't going away any time soon. Players say the park is a great place to catch rare Pokémon characters, and that has a growing number of people asking how to stop a Pokéstop, including police.
“It's getting out of hand at this park, and taking resources from the police department,” said Steve Hegarty with the Tampa police.
The slow-moving, fixated crowds of players have some residents nicknaming Ballast Point as Zombie Park, and Tampa police have asked Nintendo and Niantic, the company that runs Pokémon Go, to remove the park as a location because of traffic and safety concerns.
Police said they are frustrated because their only recourse is to fill out a form on Niantic's website to request removal of a geographical location as a Pokéstop. The company says private property can be removed. So, where does that leave the park - which is a public place?
A Pokéstop can also be reported for being at a dangerous location, but that doesn't apply to the park, either.
Publicists for Niantic said they've been overwhelmed by "the enthusiastic response" from the Pokémon Go community and are moving quickly to review removal requests.
Since removal requests are being submitted for locations like the National Holocaust Memorial, cemeteries and private residences all over the world, Tampa police aren't expecting Ballast Point to be at the top of the list.
Not everyone who frequents or lives near the park is upset by the Pokémon Go craze. The owner of Taste of Boston in the park said business is up by 40-percent.
“The numbers, oh on the weekend, the numbers are in the hundreds. It’s unreal. I’ve never seen it like this except for maybe Gasparilla,” Scott Lutz said.
So for now, expect the catch of the day off Ballast Point Pier to be a Pokémon.