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New for 2016: Wheeler Field

Wheeler Field, Virginia Beach Neptunes Things have been quiet lately for the Virginia Beach Neptunes, but the team announced a naming rights deal for a new ballpark — Wheeler Field — as well as a 2015 groundbreaking and 2016 launch in the independent Atlantic League.

The naming rights agreement for Wheeler Field runs through 2025, after the purchase by Wheeler Capital, LLC. Wheeler Capital specializes in venture capital financing and small business loans in the Mid-Atlantic Region, Richmond, Hampton Roads, Virginia, Washington, D.C., North Carolina and Maryland.

“I am very pleased to be involved with the Virginia Beach Neptunes as the sport of baseball has long been called America’s game,” said Jon S. Wheeler, Chairman and CEO of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust. “With the addition of the Virginia Beach Neptunes, the city of Virginia Beach — with its surrounding sports enthusiasts and youth baseball community — will fulfill the void that the residents have felt from not having a local ‘home team’ to support. Wheeler Field will be an added and welcomed amenity for the city and its residents.”

Wheeler has experience in strategic financial and market analyses and assessments of new or existing commercial real estate properties. His past board memberships include Horizons Hampton Roads as Chairman; Monarch Bank, City of Virginia Beach Advisory Board, Chairman; Hampton Roads Community Foundation, board member; Norfolk State University’s Enterprise & Empowerment Foundation (E2F), board member; and Virginia Business Coalition on Health, board member, according to a release from the team. Currently, Wheeler serves as the President for the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation.

“Having Wheeler Capital as the stadium naming rights partner shows our commitment to Virginia Beach and the surrounding communities,” said Virginia Beach Neptunes Vice President and General Manager Joe Pinto. “Wheeler Field will be a great home for our team and all of the baseball fans in Virginia Beach.”

Groundbreaking is scheduled for this summer, and the Neptunes owners plan to play the 2016 season in Virginia Beach.

RELATED STORIES: Virginia Beach Neptunes unveil logos; Virginia Beach approves new Atlantic League ballpark; Virginia Beach group seeking land, infrastructure for new ballpark; Virginia Beach awarded Atlantic League franchise — but financing for ballpark remains

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