RICHMOND, Va. -- The start of a new baseball season in Richmond brings back the age old question: Where should baseball be played in the River City?
Mayor Dwight Jones made clear in 2013 that he wants baseball in Shockoe Bottom. But since Jones pulled his plan at a city council meeting in May, what is the status of Richmond baseball?
"We don't allow people to be caught up emotionally in it," Flying Squirrels Vice President Todd Parnell said. "It would be very easy to take the energy used worrying about that to exhaust you and we couldn't do what our job is."
However, it is clear that baseball seems poised to stay on Boulevard for the foreseeable future, something Parnell would acknowledge.
That is for a variety of reasons. For one, the plan for baseball in Shockoe Bottom has stalled in city hall. Another reason is that the Flying Squirrels have signed a lease that could keep them at The Diamond until 2019.
Finally, the Squirrels have put in about $250,000 worth of renovations in the off-season, including new seats in the upper level, a new grille area and entertainment stage and a patio porch in left field.
Nonetheless, sources inside Richmond City Hall said the plan for Shockoe Baseball is far from dead. In fact, those sources said that the plan could be revived if a new freestanding children's hospital is built on the Boulevard.