As the franchise moves closer to relocating to Fredericksburg, VA, fans of the Potomac Nationals (High A; Carolina League) are preparing to say their goodbyes.
The P-Nats franchise has played at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, VA since 1984, and had spent years searching for a new ballpark–including efforts to remain in Prince William County–before finalizing plans for a new facility in Fredericksburg. P-Nats owner Art Silber has been preparing the new Fredericksburg ballpark for a 2020 opening, so the organization has expected the 2019 season to be its last at Pfitzner Stadium.
A four-game series against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans that begins Monday will mark the team’s final home series of the regular season. With those games approaching, fans are reflecting on the team’s legacy. More from Inside Nova:
Wearing a P-Nats hat and an old Washington Nationals jersey, Matt Tillson, sophomore at James Madison University, also attended the P-Nats’ home game against the Pelicans. He hadn’t been to a game in eight years, but he drove to the ballpark to see the team a final time before they move. He remembers watching the P-Nats as a kid.
“They’re moving and it’s breaking my heart,” he said….
[Silber] expects the new ballpark to be completed by April, but in case it’s not, he plans to renew the team’s lease agreement with the county for Pfitzner Stadium through December 2020. Silber has until Sept. 1 to notify the county of the team’s intent to renew its lease, according to the agreement.
If the new ballpark isn’t ready when the season starts, Silber said, the team could begin the season at Pfitzner and finish it at the new ballpark.
The new Fredericksburg ballpark will be located in the Celebrate Virginia South development, and has been estimated at a cost of $35 million. Under the P-Nats’ agreement with Fredericksburg, the ballpark will be privately financed by 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. In June, the P-Nats announced that site work for the new ballpark would begin in July.
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