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Could Warehouse Shift Jumpstart New Richmond Flying Squirrels Ballpark?

Richmond Flying SquirrelsWe’ve had many starts and stops over the years, but Friday’s announcement that a state agency is moving a liquor warehouse from The Boulevard area could spur activity on planning for a new Richmond Flying Squirrels ballpark.

The Eastern League team has been seeking a new-ballpark solution since setting up shop in Richmond in 2010, but this latest plan seems to have some momentum. The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has a warehouse located on Hermitage Road across from The Diamond in the Boulevard area. ABC has been considering its long-term options for the warehouse, and on Friday it announced a plan to move the warehouse to a new location in Hanover County in 2021.

That would open space for a new ballpark housing the Flying Squirrels and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) baseball. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

City and state officials have sought after the real estate occupied by the current site since at least 2016, when the city, VCU and the Squirrels announced that they were in early stages of talks to construct a $55 million baseball stadium near the Boulevard.

A memorandum of understanding said VCU, whose baseball team plays at The Diamond, would take the lead in the plans. At the time, then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his then-Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney led behind-the-scenes talks that led to the agreement….

Stoney, now mayor, declined to comment through a spokesman on how ABC’s warehouse plans might affect work toward a new stadium.

The Diamond originally opened in 1985 for the Richmond Braves (Class AAA; International League), and was home to that franchise until it relocated to Gwinnett County, GA prior to the 2009 season. The Flying Squirrels have played at the ballpark since 2010.

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