A key component in the development of a new ballpark for the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League) to replace The Diamond is in the works, as the city is looking at moving a fleet-operations maintenance facility from the Parker Field site to make way for a new facility.
Parker Field opened in 1934 and was coverted to baseball in 1954, serving as the home to Richmond baseball until construction of The Diamond in 1985. Both ballparks were located at the old fairgrounds site.
Building a new ballpark in the vicinity of the old ballpark site is poetic, but it also makes sense: The Boulevard area has been targeted by the city and the Flying Squirrels ownership as the best location for a new ballpark. There’s good freeway access, the city owns the land, and the logistics are such that a new ballpark can be built next to The Diamond, potentially at the maintenance facility.
Which is why the city’s move at privatizing maintenance and moving the facility away from The Boulevard area is important: it clears up lots of land for a new ballpark. The Flying Squirrels ownership is ready for a deal, as Lou DiBella says The Diamond is falling down and needs replacement: “There does have to be more of a sense of urgency because this place is literally falling apart.” Still, as discussions between Flying Squrrels reps and the city have been continuous ongoing since the team moved to Richmond, there’s the sense that movement toward a new ballpark is very real.
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