RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Several business owners said they never thought they'd see the Diamond this busy again. Now they're hoping Richmond will hang on to this team for years to come.
The first pitch across home plate couldn't get here soon enough for Boulevard business owner Buz Grossberg.
"Baseball is back and the whole Boulevard is starting to come alive," Grossberg said.
The transformation on the Boulevard started about a year ago with the addition of the Movieland movie theater.
"Everybody's parking lots are filled. Yeah, it's a good thing. We're seeing night life here," he said.
Rob Weaver opened his restaurant "Stronghill" just as the Braves were starting to pack up and leave town in 2008.
"It used to be when it was the Braves there was just a Diamond here, there really wasn't anything else, so you came to the baseball Diamond. And if you wanted to get something to eat- if you wanted to do something else- you had to leave the area," Weaver said.
Now there are four restaurants within walking distance of the Diamond.
"I've seen the schedule; they plan an immense number of games lots of afternoon games where we're open for lunch. Obviously there's lots of evening games where we're open for dinner," said Weaver.
The businesses on the Boulevard credit the team's owners, for finding a way to get Richmonders to step up to the plate when it comes to baseball.
"They're really out there doing promotions. I was just at Chickfila with my son and they had the mascot out just generating that interest," Weaver said.
There will be a fireworks display Thursday night, and not just on the Fourth of July, but 12 more times this season. Just one way the new owners are trying to draw in more crowds for this section of Richmond.