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Fredericksburg Ballpark Plan Looks to Clear Hurdles

New Fredericksburg ballpark rendering

The Potomac Nationals (High A; Carolina League) continue their pursuit of a new Fredericksburg, VA ballpark, with a few key tasks remaining. 

On July 10, the Fredericksburg City Council approved a letter of intent with P-Nats ownership on plans for a new $35 million ballpark.  The proposal calls for the 5,000-seat ballpark to be constructed in Celebrate Virginia South, on land owned by The Silver Cos., which would contribute $100,000 annually and move its Celebrate Virginia After Hours concert series to the facility. The ballpark would be privately financed by P-Nats owner Art Silber and his family, with the city making an annual payment of $1.05 million to the team for 30 years as an anchor tenant. The city’s contribution would be covered by taxes from the ballpark, and revenue generated from use of the facility on non-gamedays. Under the current design concept, the ballpark is slated to feature several amenities, including a 360-degree concourse and club space that is open year-round for events.

Approval of the letter of intent triggered a 120-day review period that is still in progress. The ballpark project currently needs to clear several layers of approval, including a special-use permit, realignment of the right of way in Celebrate Virginia South, and updates to Fredericksburg’s comprehensive land-use plan. Those issue will be considered by the Fredericksburg City Council on Tuesday night. More from The Free-Lance Star:

City Council will hold public hearings on all three issues when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Council Chambers in City Hall, 715 Princess Anne St.

Fredericksburg’s comp plan calls for a Minor League Baseball stadium in Celebrate Virginia South, something first envisioned when the Hagerstown Suns proposed moving to Fredericksburg in 2013. That deal, which involved the city building a parking lot, fell through. The comp plan needs to be tweaked to reflect the deal being negotiated between the city and Art Silber and his family….

Comp plan changes also would encourage shared parking between the stadium and the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center, as well as realignment of the road network planned in Celebrate Virginia South to create a network of collector streets tied into the proposed Interstate 95 and State Route 3 interchange for Celebrate Virginia South and Central Park. This would be in place of the proposed Rappahannock Parkway Toll Road, and would accommodate the proposed location of the stadium.

The proposed location also needs to have a vacant portion of the Carl D. Silver Parkway right-of-way realigned, because the current general development plan shows a future extension of the parkway that would extend right through the middle of the stadium property. The proposed realignment would instead curve around the stadium to the west, and enable a future intersection with Gordon W. Shelton Boulevard. The amendment calls for the realigned right-of-way to be 80 feet wide and contain a street section including a trail, sidewalk, four travel lanes and a median.

If a final agreement between the team and the city is reached, the P-Nats will have to go through the permitting process and then begin ballpark construction. The new ballpark could open as early as the 2020 season.

The P-Nats have been looking for years to replace their current home, Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, VA. Discussions with Prince William County officials about a new ballpark in Woodbridge took place as recently as the summer of 2017, only to stall when the two sides could not come to terms on an agreement.

RELATED STORIES: Public Meeting Held for Proposed Fredericksburg BallparkP-Nats Continue Fredericksburg Ballpark DiscussionsPrince William County to Explore Replacement for P-NatsFredericksburg Approves Letter of Intent with P-NatsP-Nats Announce First Fredericksburg Ballpark Founding PartnershipPrince William County Officials Unsurprised by P-Nats’ Fredericksburg PlansFredericksburg Eager for Ballpark Discussions; Flying Squirrels Monitoring SituationP-Nats Pursue New Fredericksburg Ballpark

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