Man who built The Diamond unveils stadium makeover plan

Posted at 9:34 PM, Jul 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-13 23:55:16-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The man who served as the original structural engineer of The Diamond has unveiled his proposal to revitalize the 1985 structure.

"It seems like I am the only guy in town who is in favor of saving The Diamond," said 82-year-old Tom Hanson. "I think it would have a life of a hundred years.

Hanson isn't just another Boulevard Baseball supporter. He wants to expand the original structure.

"People think of this as an icon," Hanson said,  pointing to the awards the stadium received in the 1980s for being one of the most unique cement-style stadiums in the country.

While proposals to build a new stadium on the Boulevard, as well as a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom, have received much fanfare, Hanson said it is time for Richmonders to consider his proposals, which he said is a simple makeover of the current facility.

In fact, Hanson said he could provide considerable upgrades with just a $1 million budget.

"What is it that this doesn't have that a new one would have?"

Hanson believes that The Diamond was built so that it could be "updated" from time to time.

His plan calls for a complete cleaning of the outside of the building to improve appearance.

Diamond painted 2

Hanson also said a restaurant behind home plate, as well as new sky boxes, would be incorporated into the design. Field View

Hanson also wants to put a covering over the top of the current parking lot so that fans could more easily enter the stadium with fewer steps while allowing retail businesses to move into the newly created space.

photo by joe

Perhaps the most radical option Hanson has suggested is putting the roof over the Diamond - telling CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George each end was originally built to support more weight. According to Hanson, that could create a concert-like venue for the city.


Hanson plans to present his proposal to city council meeting Monday during public comment.