The city of Fredericksburg (Va.) will spend $18,000 on a ballpark feasibility study, as officials continue to explore the possibility of a $25-million baseball project.
Yesterday the city’s Economic Development Authority authorized the study. If a study determines the community can support a new ballpark, the next steps will be to come up with a financial plan and a site. Under discussion: the 38-acre Celebrate Virginia South site once envisioned as the home of a National Slavery Museum. Fredericksburg reps have talked both to MiLB and independent-baseball reps, using an existing Atlantic League ballpark in Waldorf, Md., as an example. (We’ve reported on past talks with Opening Day Partners.) The game plan for a 4,000-seat ballpark fits well in the Atlantic League model.
Fredericksburg is halfway between Washington, D.C. and Richmond. It’s a small community — only 26,000 — but it and Spotsylvania County represent one of the fastest-growing areas in Virginia.
The Virginia General Assembly this year added Fredericksburg to the list of localities allowed to retain a portion of sales and use taxes generated by a stadium to help pay off the bonds issued to build the facility. That would probably be part of the financing plan should city officials decide to go forward on a stadium.
The study that the EDA approved Monday is seen as a way to help local officials decide whether to pursue a stadium. Washington-based Brailsford & Dunlavey is expected to get the contract to do the study, which should be ready within two months.
RELATED STORIES: Fredericksburg, Opening Day Partners talking new ballpark
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