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Fredericksburg touted as ideal for professional baseball

Hagerstown SunsAs was expected by virtually everyone in the process: Fredericksburg (Va.) was touted as being “ideal” for professional baseball by consulting firm Brailsford & Dunlavey.

The report from Brailsford & Dunlavey, which you can view here, cites a dense population and a strong demographic profile as two measures of potential success for a professional baseball team. From the summary:

The Fredericksburg market has over 385,000 people within a 30-minute drive of the intersection of I-95 and Route 3. In comparison to seven comparable markets, the market has an exceptionally strong demographic profile for minor league baseball given its ideal household wealth, spending, and size characteristics. First-year paid attendance levels are projected to be between 5,100 and 5,700 patrons with attendance levels between 4,100 and 4,600 when stabilized in year five of operation. Projected gate receipts range from $3.5 to $3.9 million in year one to between $2.8 and $3.1 million in year 5. The facility is expected to host between 25 and 35 outside revenue-generating events per year, in addition to numerous community events. All revenue assumptions are summarized at the conclusion of the document.

One potential issue: the lack of a large corporate base in the market.

Though independent ball was originally on the agenda in Fredericksburg, we’re seeing city officials — as well as Brailsford & Dunlavey — focus on bringing in a Class A team, which would be playing out of a 5,000-seat, $28-million ballpark. With the future of the Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) a potential free agent based on an unsure ballpark situation, that team has been discussed the most as a target for city leaders.

Next up: Brailsford & Dunlavey will conduct a study on potential ballpark-financing plans.

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