RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – NBC12 got word Tuesday Richmond may be a step closer to getting a new baseball stadium, after an announcement by Mayor Dwight Jones' office.
In the next few months, the mayor will propose a new home for city vehicles and its maintenance garage. The facility is just yards from the aging Diamond and could become baseball's new home.
We got it straight from the horse's mouth. Flying Squirrels COO Todd "Parney" Parnell told us what this possible move means for the future of baseball in Richmond.
"Obviously this is a move that would create space right here," he explained. "So the decision has basically been made by the jurisdictions and the city officials that if the ball park is built, this is probably the place that it's going to be."
In the next few months, we're told the mayor's office will propose purchasing and leasing new properties where they'll move the city vehicles. That would leave the thirty-acre Parker Field facility vacant. According to Parney, this announcement paves the way for a new stadium, which is music to baseball lovers' ears.
"Anytime you see dirt moving, which it will be in the near future that's great," he said.
Councilman Charles Samuels, whose district includes the Boulevard, said with its current use the property isn't reaching its full potential.
"There's a lot of options for that property that would have a much better use for the tens of thousands cars that drive through or past it every day," he explained.
It's not a done deal. The mayor hasn't officially presented the proposal to City Council, which would ultimately have to sign off on it.
"It is a great first step to make sure this land is available for that potential use, but there's still a lot of steps that need to happen before we have a new baseball diamond," Samuels said.
We're told the administration expects to submit those proposals in the next two months. The city would also have to work alongside other jurisdictions to make the new park a reality.