The Diamond receives renovations before home opener

Published: Apr. 14, 2016 at 12:49 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2016 at 1:21 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Richmond Flying Squirrels season home opener is Thursday and fans can expect new sights and sounds in the stadium.

The Diamond was renovated to include additional seating and standing-room only areas that will accommodate more than 150 people.

Parney Parnell, chief operating officer for the team, says a bull pen bar, sign upgrades and a new electronic board are also part of the additions.

Fans can also head to a brunch game this year every at 12:30 p.m. Sundays. The team will wear waffle jerseys and there will be a brunch menu.

For animal lovers, you can bring your dog to the ball park on Monday home games.

All the excitement is also met by uncertainty for the team that's existence has been in question for years. From the departure of the Richmond Braves in 2008 to the most recent battle between the mayor and the team.

In 2015, Mayor Dwight Jones campaigned for the creation of a stadium in Shockoe Bottom and then he suggested the team look to the counties for sites to play. Many current mayoral candidates say they want to keep baseball in Richmond but haven't elaborated on how to fund it.

The mayor held a public meeting a few months ago to see what the public's opinion is for the future of the stadium, but those results haven't been revealed.

For Thursday's home opener, the Flying Squirrels are unveiling an additional mascot. Nutsey will have a side kick named "Nutasha."

Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back and Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis is throwing out the first pitch.
Thursday's game begins just after 6:30 p.m.

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