Less than a week before it was to take place, a vote on a proposed Potomac Nationals (High A; Carolina League) ballpark has been scrapped — and owner Art Silber says he will look to sell or move the team.
In a statement issued today, Silber says he will explore moving the team or selling it after failing to come to an agreement on a new ballpark. This comes a day after he told the Prince William County Board of Supervisors not to bother with a vote on a proposed ballpark.
“We are saddened to report that the parties have been unable to come to an agreement on terms to build a new ballpark,” according to Silber’s statement.
“While we are open to discussing other options with the county, we are now required by Minor League Baseball to also explore other opportunities to obtain a new home that will comply with Major League Baseball Standards for Minor League teams.”
On July 18, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors was to have voted on an agreement for the proposed for a new P-Nats ballpark. The original plan called on the county calls to issue Industrial Development Authority bonds for the $35 million ballpark, with the team paying back that amount over a 30-year period.
Earlier this week, P-Nats owner Art Silber indicated that he wanted the July 18 vote and public hearing delayed, telling InsideNOVA “there’s no point in even doing the vote, because we don’t have an agreement that we would sign. If they vote, they’re going to vote on something that’s completely irrelevant.” A motion on July 11 to postpone the vote until September 5 was rejected by supervisors.
It has now been revealed that the July 18 vote has been scrapped after chairman Corey Stewart removed the item from next week’s agenda at the team’s request.” More from InsideNova:
“The deal is pretty close to dead,” Stewart said in an interview July 13. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the team takes off.”…
“While we are open to discussing other options with the county, we are now required by Minor League Baseball to also explore other opportunities to obtain a new home that will comply with Major League Baseball standards for minor league teams,” Silber wrote.
Silber contends that those “other opportunities” include moving the team to another location in Northern Virginia, or selling it to an out-of-state buyer, potentially in North Carolina. Since last month, Silber’s argued that he’d need to show Minor League Baseball officials a signed deal before the end of July if he was to avoid the team somehow leaving Prince William.
Silber had previously urged county officials to reject a proposal to send the ballpark plan to a November referendum, and supervisors ultimately voted against the ballot initiative in June. The P-Nats have been looking to a secure a new ballpark to replace Pftizner Stadium.
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