RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Is the Diamond on Boulevard the best place for a baseball stadium in Richmond?
It is a question that has been asked often since the Richmond Braves threatened to leave town starting in the mid-2000s. It is a question that has not gone away since the Richmond Flying Squirrels took the field in 2010.
The promise of a new baseball stadium has been pitched for years without movement. Questions about where the new ballpark should go and if that will impact fan turnout have made the decision a controversial one.
Richmond City Council President, Charles Samuels, wants Richmonders to answer those questions by way of the November ballot.
"It's probably one of the few times in my life I'll put something to a referendum, but I think it's important in this case," Samuels said.
Samuels drafted and plans to introduce next week and ordinance and resolution, that if approved by council and then the court, will be put on the November ballot for Richmond voters.
"This simply says 'Is the Boulevard where you want to continue enjoying baseball?'" said Samuels.
City Hall insiders confirm Mayor Dwight Jones and his administration are endorsing another idea when it comes to this topic . They've been exploring the possibility of baseball being in Shockoe Bottom for several months. It's an idea that some Richmonders support.
"It could be sort of like Baltimore because Baltimore has the shops and everything around their stadium but the diamond where it is now...there's nothing there," Richmonder Mike Gregory said.
Still others feel the Diamond is the best place for it and worry about parking concerns and safety in Shockoe Bottom. But regardless of their opinion of where the stadium should go, the vast majority of Richmonders appreciate the choice and think a referendum is a good idea.
Samuels will present his motion on June 24 before council. If approved by committee and then full council, the measure will head to circuit court and then be put on the ballot.
In order for the question to make the November ballot all of the approvals would need to be finished by August 16.