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Flying Squirrels ask ‘What have we done wrong?’ as mayor shifts development focus

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Nov 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-11 18:00:57-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Flying Squirrels leaders have asked the city what they’ve done wrong.

The mayor said he won’t make baseball a priority as discussions start once again concerning the redevelopment of the Boulevard.

Mayor Dwight Jones has made it clear that baseball is not a top priority when it comes to the plans improve the 60 acres of city real estate along North Boulevard, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch story.

The mayor said they are looking into what would be the best use for the property.

Squirrels team leaders are upset and said they feel shut out because the most recent planning does not include a ball park or a children's hospital.

Lou DiBella, manager of the Squirrels told the RTD, “I want to be part of any plan to develop the area.”

Talks earlier this summer involved the discussion of a children’s hospital along the Boulevard, but that idea was nixed this week. The Squirrels had agreed to look for potential sites outside the city to allow for a children’s hospital.

Now they feel shafted, and as the RTD originally reported, “the city offered no potential stadium sites within Richmond, and the search produced no sites comparable to the Boulevard in Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover counties.”

The ambivalence is confusing, especially given that the city reportedly “begged” for the Squirrels to take up nest at the Diamond, the former home of the Braves.

The Squirrels have played in the 30-year -old stadium since 2010.