The Potomac Nationals (High A; Carolina League) are extending their stay at Pftizner Stadium, as a lease extension has been approved by Prince William County.
On Tuesday, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved the extension in a 5-3 vote. The P-Nats’ current lease at Pfitzner Stadium had been slated to end following the 2018 season, but the club can now stay at the ballpark through the 2020 campaign.
The ongoing goal for the P-Nats and owner Art Silber has been to secure a new ballpark. Earlier this year, the team and the county were in discussions about constructing a new facility, with the plan at one point calling for the county to issue Industrial Development Authority bonds for a $35 million ballpark and the team paying back that amount over a 30-year period. Those talks unfolded for much of the summer, only for the effort to stall after a key vote on the proposal was scratched at the last minute.
Citing the condition of Pftizner Stadium, the P-Nats will continue to seek a new ballpark, but Tuesday’s vote gives the club the option to remain at its current home while it works on the effort. More from InsideNova:
Yet a preliminary deal that would bring a new stadium to Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center collapsed in July over concerns from some supervisors that the county was risking its financial future by issuing bonds to help the team build the facility. Team owner Art Silber initially suggested that, without a new stadium deal in place by the summer, he would be forced to sell the team or move it elsewhere.
Silber hasn’t ruled out that possibility, but he says he is currently working to revive a deal in the county to use private financing rather than the public bonds that roiled the last round of negotiations. The new lease will give the team the chance to stay in Pfitzner as that plays out, with two one-year renewal options available through 2020.
“We’re very confident that, with the right location and the right circumstances, we can still make something happen,” Silber said in an interview. “To give us the opportunity to have these discussions, we still need to have a place to play ball.”
Should the team land a deal for a new stadium over the next few years, the amended lease would be terminated. It also allows for the P-Nats to move at any point, provided the team gives the county adequate notice and pays back some utility costs.
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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