Diamond gets new lights, Squirrels seek new ballpark

Posted at 11:19 AM, Nov 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-02 11:20:03-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Richmond Flying Squirrels and the Richmond Metropolitan Authority (RMA) have tentatively agreed to change the minor league baseball team’s existing lease agreement at The Diamond. The new agreement would keep the team at the Diamond through 2015, with extension options in thru 2017, according to an email from the RMA.

The RMA will install new lighting at the ballpark. The $300,000 project will be done by April’s season opener, David Caudill, RMA director of operations said. The Diamond’s current lights are out-dated and no longer meet Minor League Baseball’s lighting guidelines.

“Maintaining The Diamond for the enjoyment of Squirrels fans and playability for the team is a top priority for the RMA as we consider the lease extension,” RMA General Manager Mike Berry said. “The installation of new lighting at the stadium will allow for greater reliability of the lighting system. We feel it is necessary to move forward with this project, while the metro regional partners continue to discuss new ballpark options.”

The Squirrels maintain they would like to see a new stadium built in Richmond to replace the Diamond, which opened in 1985.

“Although the Squirrels have not lost sight that a new facility is needed for the long term viability of professional baseball in Richmond, we both realize the importance of creating the highest caliber conditions possible for the World Champion San Francisco Giants and all of our fans in Richmond. We thank the RMA for being pro-active in recognizing our needs,” said Flying Squirrels Chief Executive Manager Chuck Domino.

The RMA Board of Directors is expected to vote on amending the team’s lease at its next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13.