Richmond Taxpayers’ To Pay For New Minor League Baseball Park

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More than $170 million of public money will go to the stadium village.

Moose and Squirrel were victorious along with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and his 30 owners in the stadium game. Minor League Baseball’s Class Double A Richmond Flying Squirrels franchise owners will get a new stadium that will cost local taxpayers at least $170 million. The Richmond City Council approved plans to authorize issuing “special revenue bonds” to pay for the design, acquisition, construction and equipping of a new baseball stadium, as well as “certain public infrastructure” connected to the Diamond District development. The stadium will open in 2026. MLB was not happy with the city’s present stadium and demanded either a new ballpark or an upgrade to the present park by the beginning of the 2025 season or else. The “or else” the Flying Squirrels franchise would be flying off to another city that was willing to build a stadium. Richmond officials wanted to build a park to accommodate Flying Squirrels’ and Virginia Commonwealth University baseball games.  The new stadium will have housing, offices and retail shopping surrounding it.

The Richmond ballpark is 39 years old and the facility, according to MLB, is at the end of its usefulness. The ballpark hosted the Triple A Richmond Braves from 1985 through the 2008 season when the parent Atlanta Braves organization moved the team to Gwinnett, Georgia. This Richmond team is a minor league affiliate of the San Francisco Giants organization. In the there is plenty of taxpayers’ money around for everything, Richmond elected officials claimed paying for a private business’s home office said it will not impact its ability to pay for school buildings in town. MLB has demanded cities to upgrade minor league parks and this is nothing new as in 1990 MLB made the same demands which ultimately cost some cities teams after those cities said no to MLB for stadium improvements.


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