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Mayor Jones pitches idea for new baseball stadium Monday

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Monday, Mayor Dwight Jones pitches his idea to fuel growth in the city at a press release. The announcement will be about an exciting economic development plan that will help generate jobs and opportunity.

The conference will also reveal details on the mayor's pitch to build a new ballpark and stadium in Shockoe Bottom.

Richmond Flying Squirrels owner,  Lou Dibella tells CBS 6, it will be a home run for the team.

"I'm thrilled with the progress that's been made," Dibella said. "I'm truly excited about this announcement."

The multi-million dollar deal proposes a new ballpark on the border of Broad, 18th, and East Franklin Streets near Main Street Station. A major retailer has already committed to the project, and is including a grocery store, apartments and a 120-room hotel. Mayor Jones plans on also building a Slave History Heritage Center.

4th District City Councilwoman Kathy Graziano has been briefed on the plan and says there are several details that have yet to be sorted out, including parking.

As Chair of Council's Finance Committee, Graziano has expressed concern over how to cover the cost of the proposed $15 million improvements to the city's drainage system downtown.

The Mayor hopes to eventually transform the entire space on the Boulevard into a shopping district that could generate millions in revenue. The Jones administration has made a priority of economic development and expanding the city’s tax base to mitigate the city’s documented poverty rate of 26%.

"The ballpark is a great amenity for the entire region," Graziano said. "But it doesn't bring revenue to the city, and we need revenue."

According to a press release from the mayor's press secretary, Tammy Hawley, Mayor Jones will discuss plans for downtown economic development on Monday, at 11a.m. at the intersection of 17th and Grace Streets.


  • Patricia Ashburn

    Only in the city of Richmond will we pay for a study to show that no one wants to move the ball park downtown….disregarding this… our ignorant city leaders Decide to go ahead and put the ballfield in a floodplain… We have to have the most ignorant city leaders in the United States… Does anybody remember the six Street marketplace debacle? No wonder we have the worst schools in the area… these are our leaders!

  • Betty

    The ball field needs to be in an area that is family friendly and SAFE. What parent will want to take their children to a dangerous area, at night, to see a ball game? This is a nightmare waiting to happen and for some reason Mayor Jones is pushing for it just as hard as he can.

  • David Pence

    Minor League Baseball is definitely more family oriented than MLB.
    The ballpark needs to stay where it is now- Open and secure parking at a reasonable price. You can even sit in the stands and see your own
    I went to 9 or 10 games last year with 2 of my closest friends and it was really great to see the kids enjoy the game and between innings activities. Camp Day was especially rewarding.
    I doubt if the turn out for Camp Day will be anywhere near the same if it’s built in the Bottom. In fact, I believe overall attendance will suffer due to location ,more than likey “higher” cost of parking and walking in downtown at night.
    Remember this is the Minors. Do you really expect a large number of fans to come, (say- 100) miles away who are willing to pay Downtown hotel prices?

    I worked for years just across the River on Semmes and am familiar with the area. I don’t anticpate to be going to Park at night if it ends up in the Bottom

    If it does end up in the Bottom, this will be the first time in the history of Minor League Ball that the Pitcher(mayor)throws a wild pitch and the Catcher (city council) is charged with a Passed Ball –

  • Justin A. Pitts

    Some people are just dumb. I’m talking about the commenters on here.

    1. The ball stadium is absolutely *nothing* like the 6th-Street Marketplace. You might as well analogize a freight train with a golf ball. Two completely different things.

    2. The area is unsafe at night only because there’s mainly unsafe people down there. Put in a couple thousand ‘good’ people & the bad ones will not so feel so welcome. Duh.

    3. To hell with school buildings. You can put these kids in the Taj Majal and they’ll tear it apart too. It isn’t the building it’s the people in them.

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