Ground was broken over the weekend for a new Fredericksburg, VA ballpark, signaling the upcoming arrival of the Potomac Nationals (High A; Carolina League) to the city.
Currently slated to open for the 2020 season, the new 5,000-seat ballpark will be constructed in Fredericksburg’s Celebrate Virginia South development. It will 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 is expected to be covered by taxes from the ballpark, and revenue generated from use of the facility on non-gamedays.
A step toward the new ballpark’s completion was taken on Sunday, when the Silber family and local officials gathered at the facility’s site for a groundbreaking ceremony. More from the Free-Lance Star:
Seth Silber gave opening remarks.
“This is your stadium. This is your place to bring your kids. This is the place for you to build memories,” Silber said. “This is your place to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals, and we appreciate so much you making our dream come true to build this kind of ballpark, but more importantly, in this kind of community.”
Art Silber, who is entering his 30th year with the Potomac Nationals, also spoke to the crowd.
“The Fredericksburg community has been extraordinary,” he said. “We need you, and I cannot tell you how we are absolutely blown away by the reception that you’ve given to me and my entire family, and I can only tell you that you’ll be repaid by the greatest ballpark, the greatest baseball and the best family experience that you can possibly have.”
The 2019 season is slated to mark the P-Nats’ last at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, VA. The franchise originally opened the ballpark in 1984 as the Prince William Pirates.
At the current pace of planning, the 2020 season will be a busy one when it comes to new ballparks around affiliated Minor League Baseball. In addition to the facility in Fredericksburg, MiLB ballparks currently slated to open next year include those in Wichita, KS for the relocating New Orleans Baby Cakes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League); Madison, AL for the current Mobile BayBears (to rebrand as the Rocket City Trash Pandas); and a new downtown ballpark for the current Kannapolis Intimidators (Low A; Sally League).
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