As they continue their search for a new ballpark, the Potomac Nationals (High A; Carolina League) are looking extend their stay at Pfitzner Stadium through 2020.
Earlier this year, the P-Nats were in discussions with Prince William County about constructing a new facility, with the plan at one point calling for county calls to issue Industrial Development Authority bonds for a $35 million ballpark and the team paying back that amount over a 30-year period. While those talks unfolded for much of the summer, the effort stalled after a key vote on the proposal was scratched at the last minute.
The P-Nats are continuing to look for a new ballpark, but want to extend their lease for Pfitzner Stadium in the interim. Under the current agreement with the county, the team is set to play at the facility for the 2018 season, but a proposed extension would see them stay at the ballpark through 2020. A vote on the extension is set for October 17. More from InsideNova:
At-Large Chairman Corey Stewart, a Republican and one of the staunchest backers of a new stadium for the team, cautions that this move to extend the Pfitzner lease is merely a “formality.” But he also believes this extension could buy more time for all parties involved to somehow get a replacement facility built for the P-Nats.
“If we don’t renew this lease, the team would be forced out of the county, which nobody wants to do,” Stewart said in an interview. “There is another site for a stadium being looked at now, and we’re not prepared to give up on it…They may have to leave, but we’re going to try to exhaust every single option in the meantime.”
Silber confirmed that the effort to find a site for a new stadium is “ongoing” and his discussions with private entities that might finance it have been “very encouraging” so far. He wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the team leaving the county, but he reiterated his desire to stay in Prince William.
“To give us opportunity to have these discussions, we still need to a place to play ball,” Silber said. “And we have a great desire to continue to do that in Prince William County.”
The franchise has called Pfitzner Stadium home since 1984, its first season in Prince William County after relocating from Alexandria, VA.
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