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Richmond Flying Squirrels appeal to fans to help keep them at The Diamond

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RICHMOND, Va -- The Richmond Flying Squirrels are calling on their fans -- and the community -- to rally for them. But they are not looking for help to beat another baseball team. Instead, the team has asked the community to come out and support them as the city figures out what to do with the land on Boulevard where The Diamond is located.

The City of Richmond is holding a series of public hearings to discuss the matter, the first of which takes place Tuesday night. Flying Squirrels Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Todd "Parney" Parnell recently sent an email to the team's fans asking for support.

In the email, Parnell told fans how much the Flying Squirrels liked The Diamond and asked them to show up to the public meetings to express support for the team staying at the site.

"This is an EXTREMELY important time for the future of the Richmond Flying Squirrels here in Richmond. We need your voices and desires to be heard!" he said in the email.

Here is the full text of the email:

Dear Fans in the Greater Richmond Area,

The Richmond Flying Squirrels home opener is April 14th, and we have many great plans to entice you to sell out the Diamond for the 7th consecutive home opener, but we need your help right now starting this Tuesday.  We love our home location on the Boulevard, and for decades it has served as one of the best entertainment venues and sites in the region.  The stadium is centrally located and the easy access to I-95 makes it an ideal place for athletics to take place, including Sportsbackers, VCU Athletics and other community activities.

The City of Richmond is conducting six hearings starting THIS TUESDAY evening to find out what the public thinks is the best use for this property on the Boulevard that includes The Diamond.  NOW is the time to express your opinion that THE BOULEVARD IS THE BEST PLACE FOR THE FUTURE OF THE RICHMOND FLYING SQUIRRELS.  Six public engagement sessions will be held in the next two weeks to help determine the city’s plans for the Boulevard.  The schedule is listed in the box below.  Please notice the mid day time on January 26 and please note the early morning of 9 am on February 4.

This is an EXTREMELY important time for the future of the Richmond Flying Squirrels here in Richmond. We need your voices and desires to be heard!  Please attend one or more of these sessions and express your support for the Richmond Flying Squirrels staying here on the Boulevard!!!!!

From the bottom of our heart, THANK YOU!

“Parney”

Meanwhile, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones was set to give a walking tour of the Boulevard site on Tuesday. The city's website said the tour would show how the site has been prepared for redevelopment.

The city's tour was scheduled for 1 p.m. It was set to start at the Arthur Ashe Center.

The first of the public hearings was scheduled to take place at the DMV central office on Broad Street at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The other meetings would take place in January and February:

  • January 20, 6 p.m. Southside Community Center, 4100 Hull Street Road
  • January 26, noon, Huguenot High School Community Center, 7945 Forest Hill Avenue
  • January 26, 7 p.m., Thomas Jefferson High School, 4100 West Grace Street
  • February 4, 9 a.m., Richmond Main Library, 101 East Franklin Street
  • February 4, 6 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, 1000 Mosby Street