The Diamond making big progress on renovations

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND (WWBT) - You may not recognize The Diamond these days. About 60 years of top management experience is helping to transform the stadium in just a few short months.

It's out with the old and in with the new. It starts with these big empty "V's" right in front of the stadium.

"[They'll] have the Flying Squirrels logo. They'll be windscreen as they drive past The Diamond. We're trying to install a sense of pride here," says Vice-President Todd "Parney" Parnell.

Then, as we go inside, the tiles that line the stadium walls will undergo a big makeover.

"They're going to be enhanced, let me put it to you that way," says Parney. They'll soon be covered with pictures of players from the past and drawings from a program with elementary school kids.

Speaking of kids, we were able to check out their new zone, the kid zone. "We'll have an inflatable skeeball, speed pitch, sliding board,"adds Parney.

You may be noticing a pattern here: "Pop is the word of the day," says Parnell.

Soon, the bland concrete walls will also take on a life of their own. New banners will line the walls and the upper tier of the stadium.

Down below, the seats are gone and a major cleaning is underway. Soon, about 3,300 new seats will be installed.

"They'll be replaced with green seats that have the every popular cup holders that everybody in Richmond seems to be excited about," adds Parney.

When it's all said and done, nearly 10,000 people will be able to pack the house during a game.

"Every decision that we're making is how can people have fun and families make memories together," says Parnell.

We're told the hardest part is for management: only having 24 hours in one day to get the work done. All of it should be ready to go in January, right in time for the season opener.

Another plus for management is the Merchandise Store that is set to open on December 1, the same day the Flying Squirrel logo will be unveiled.

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