Plans have been announced for a new Colonial Heights, VA-based team in the summer-collegiate Coastal Plain League, with the club to begin play at Shepherd Stadium in 2020.
Last month, the CPL announced that it was working on the launch of a Colonial Heights team that would be backed by an ownership group led by Chris Martin. Those plans are now final, as the yet-to-be-named team was unveiled at a press conference at Shepherd Stadium Wednesday, following the Colonial Heights City Council’s approval of a three-year lease agreement for Shepherd Stadium on Monday.
During Wednesday’s announcement, Martin and CPL commissioner and chief operating officer Justin Sellers noted the potential that not only the market has to offer, but the possibilities of what could be done at Shepherd Stadium. More from The Progress-Index:
“With a stadium like Shepherd, what you see here is a lot of potential,” Sellers said, specifically noting the ample amount of foul territory and room to build more seating down the right and left field lines.
“There’s a lot of opportunity where you can get creative, and that’s where the fun happens,” he said. “That’s where you’re able to bring in some architects that are used to doing some out-of-the-box thinking, have some creativity and spitball ideas and figure out, ‘What will make it work?’”
Chris Martin, who is the head of the Collegiate Baseball Experience group that owns the franchise, shared that view of Shepherd’s potential, mentioning to media that he hopes to build a multi-tier “Party Deck” in right field, where there is currently a picnic area.
The growth potential for both Shepherd Stadium and the franchise as a whole is part of what made coming to the Tri-Cities an attractive option for the league, according to Sellers, and it fits withing the league’s overall view of the future.
Shepherd Stadium dates to 1951 and is currently used for Colonial Heights American Legion Post 284 baseball and other events. For the CPL, this announcement marks a return to Virginia’s Tri-Cities area, which also includes Petersburg, a former league market. The Petersburg Generals played at the Petersburg Sports Complex from 2000-2016.
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