Author Topic: Richmond Braves are leaving Richmond!!!! The door is now open!!!  (Read 1801 times)

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Offline deeznatz

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Geez....can't believe no one is idscussing this here!  The Nats market will grow and fans will be able to see prospects easier!


What a great day to be a Richmonder and a Nats fan

I know the possibility was discussed several times of a Nats presence in Richmond.  How much of a reality is this?

EDIT: Any links on their leaving?

Online spidernat

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You're quite right but the traffic here has been slow lately. Of course I'm certain that's not easily done especially considering that it wasn't that long ago that the Nationals hooked up with Columbus.

Here is a story I guess:

http://www.ajc.com/wireless/content/sports/braves/stories/2008/01/14/gwbraves_0115.html

I don't think the Nats would move their AAA team to Richmond.  They have to have a contract with Columbus and plus, Columbus is building a brand, spanking new stadium currently.  I don't see the Nats wanting to jump off that.

Offline shoeshineboy

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Here is a story I guess:

http://www.ajc.com/wireless/content/sports/braves/stories/2008/01/14/gwbraves_0115.html

I don't think the Nats would move their AAA team to Richmond.  They have to have a contract with Columbus and plus, Columbus is building a brand, spanking new stadium currently.  I don't see the Nats wanting to jump off that.


The deal with Columbus was a two year deal, so given the Braves look to be moving in 2009, the two moves would potentially line up perfectly.

Offline CALSGR8

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However, the "Diamond" I hear either needs a severe renovation or rebuild.  Probably part of the reason why their leaving is the stadium is not in good shape.  Why move into a situation like that.  Its bad enough that Potomac needs new digs.  Virginia is not going to pay for 1 stadium much less than 2!

Online spidernat

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But if it could somehow be worked out it would be a wise move by the organization.

Offline CALSGR8

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This review hasn't been updated since 2002 but it was supposed to go thru some renovations.  Not sure if it went thru or not!


http://www.digitalballparks.com/International/Richmond.html

Mr Silber of the P-Nats has been trying to get a new stadium for years.  VA General Assembly just wont put any money toward it.  You think AAA will be any different?  I have my doubts.  :roll:

Offline CALSGR8

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Another Take on this from the Braves Website:

http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080114&content_id=2345564&vkey=news_atl&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl

Braves looking to move Triple-A team
01/14/2008 3:50 PM ET
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com

ATLANTA -- It appears the Braves will be moving their Triple-A affiliate to neighboring Gwinnett County.
According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the Gwinnett County commissioners will meet Tuesday night to vote on a stadium proposal. If the commissioners approve the construction of a new stadium, the Braves will be able to make their next step toward moving the Triple-A affiliate out of Richmond, Virg.

Gwinnett County is located approximately 20 minutes north of Turner Field. The thriving suburban area already is home to an Arena Football League team and a hockey team that plays in the East Coast Hockey League.

While the Braves have a long history with Richmond that dates back to 1966, they too have had many recent problems with the city's reluctance to provide upgrades to the stadium that is known as The Diamond.
When the Braves signed a three-year agreement in August to continue playing in Richmond, they worded the contract in a manner that allowed them to continue seeking other locations to place their Triple-A team. There are opt-out options after both the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Thus there is a chance the Braves Triple-A affiliate could begin playing in Gwinnett County as early as the 2009 season. The Braves have to notify Richmond before Oct. 1 if they are planning to utilize either of their opt-out clauses.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


Offline deeznatz

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This review hasn't been updated since 2002 but it was supposed to go thru some renovations.  Not sure if it went thru or not!


http://www.digitalballparks.com/International/Richmond.html

Mr Silber of the P-Nats has been trying to get a new stadium for years.  VA General Assembly just wont put any money toward it.  You think AAA will be any different?  I have my doubts.  :roll:



You're right, the GA won't have anything to do with this at all, it is a regional effort.  They have had problems with the Diamond and coming up with a solution, but with the way things are looking now it almost seems orchestrated.

Just hours before the Braves announcement, the city announced that they had a plan to demolish the Diamond and build the new park.  The Nats AAA team only signed a 2 yr lease, which is odd, and as someone mentioned this would line up perfextly.

The Nats would LOVE to have the tem here as it would be a huge foot in the door of an almost untapped market.

I have long suspected that Wilder and the City have talked to Nats ownershiop about this issue, and that it is for this very reason that Wilder played hardball woth the R=Braves.  I could be totally wrong, but it looks as if things might be lining up.

Offline deeznatz

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I know the possibility was discussed several times of a Nats presence in Richmond.  How much of a reality is this?

EDIT: Any links on their leaving?

www.timesdispatch.com

go to sports section

Offline NatsAddict

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Among the renovations required at the stadium are the fixing of a sink hole in RF.  The city and the R-Braves and Richmond have been arguing for years over who is responsible for maintenance.

Offline CALSGR8

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http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-01-15-0126.html

Part of the above article:

The only ways Richmond could get another Triple-A club would be expansion -- "and that's not on anybody's radar," Mobley said -- or for an owner to abandon one of the other 29 cities and relocate here.

And nobody else is looking to move, Mobley said.

"There isn't that weak sister out there who may be looking for something else," he said.

The Ottawa franchise, which had attendance problems, already is moving into a new stadium in Lehigh Valley, Pa., for the 2008 season. In that case, ownership decided to relocate the franchise.

No other team in the International League has relocated since the Maine Guides moved to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 1989.

Last year, Columbus, Ohio, signed a two-year deal to be the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Columbus said it might explore a new affiliation deal in 2009 with one of the major-league teams in Ohio.

If that happens, the Nationals would be able to move to a city with an existing franchise and an open affiliation. Richmond, though, would not have a franchise.

Washington officials would not comment on the Richmond situation.

The future of professional baseball in Richmond may be in a lower level.

"That is a very real possibility, depending on the geography of the situation," Mobley said.

Moving to Double-A could present geographic issues. If Richmond were to join the Eastern League, it would be the southernmost team. If it were to join the Southern League, it would be the northernmost team.

The Eastern League stretches from Maine to Maryland and goes as far west as Ohio. The Southern League stretches from Florida to North Carolina and goes as far west as Mississippi.

Three closer options are the high Class A Carolina League, the low Class A South Atlantic League and the Appalachian League, which is for rookies. The Carolina and Appalachian leagues have franchises in Virginia.

John Hopkins, president of the Carolina League, and Lee Landers, president of the Appalachian League, could not be reached for comment.

Richmond has been without baseball before. The New York Yankees operated a franchise (the Virginians) in Richmond from 1954 to 1964. The Yankees moved their operation to Toledo in 1965, leaving Richmond without a club for one season.

The Braves came in 1966 and have been here since.


Contact staff writer Tim Pearrell at tpearrell@timesdispatch.com or (804) 649-6965.

Offline NatsAddict

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I've found the following regarding the problem and the "solution." 

Quote
Flawed Diamond?

Remaining home games in jeopardy as R-Braves cancel homestand; move games to Norfolk
Flawed Diamond?
Robb Crocker/Richmond.com
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Richmond Braves General Manager Bruce Baldwin says he's "not very optimistic" that the R-Braves will play another home game at The Diamond this season. The organization has had to cancel ten openings this season due to unplayable field conditions.

The Richmond Braves, who are in the final stretch of a heated pennant race, were forced to move all five scheduled home games at The Diamond this week to Norfolk’s Harbor Park because of unplayable field conditions. Besides a saturated turf, the 51-year-old field developed a 2-foot-by-4-foot sinkhole Sunday.

The Diamond’s field maintenance team filled the hole by Monday afternoon but sponge-like conditions remained as the team held a light practice and prepared for an eight-day, 11-game road trip.

"This is extremely disappointing and perplexing," said R-Braves General Manager Bruce Baldwin Monday night. Baldwin added that he is "not very optimistic" that the R-Braves will play another home game at The Diamond this season. The next scheduled home game is on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

"The entire front office has been working on the field for the past two weeks," Baldwin explained. "These conditions have been going on for quite sometime. I can't put one of my athletes out there to risk a career ending injury."

According to Todd Feagans, public relations manager, the team has lost ten openings due to unplayable field conditions. Feagans said the average attendance per game this season has been 5,500 fans. If each fan spends at least $15 at the gate and concessions, the organization potentially loses $82,500 spent at The Diamond per game. In addition, roughly 150 game employees (ushers, vendors, security and bat boys) will miss out on potential paydays.

-more-

Richmond.com

Quote
Wilder "cautiously optimistic" about Braves ballpark proposal
Posted February 25, 2005
Richmond (Va.) Mayor Douglas Wilder met with Richmond Braves (Class AAA; International league) GM Bruce Baldwin and the Washington-based developers about the $330-million development project that includes a new ballpark for the Braves. It sounds like both sides made some concessions: the Braves agreed to fund studies of the impact of the development (tax revenues, traffic impact, etc.) and Wilder came out saying he was cautiously optimistic about the future of the project.

Ballpark Watch

Offline kimnat

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This review hasn't been updated since 2002 but it was supposed to go thru some renovations.  Not sure if it went thru or not!


http://www.digitalballparks.com/International/Richmond.html

Mr Silber of the P-Nats has been trying to get a new stadium for years.  VA General Assembly just wont put any money toward it.  You think AAA will be any different?  I have my doubts.  :roll:


Right now, we have serious budget crunch issues in VA.  While a stadium will bring in revenue, I know they're looking to be a little more cautious w/ spending the tax dollars.  Wilder's comments and negotiations are very interesting.  I'll be curious to see if it actually comes to fruition.  And I'll also be curious to know whether he'll be looking for state funding or if Richmond-proper will handle this one.

Online Ray D

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Me, I'm for holding out until the Orioles leave Baltimore for Portland, and take the Baysox with them, and then we can put a team in Bowie.

Offline rich_nats

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This was inevitable for the R-Braves, now I hope the city lures the Nats into town. 

Offline Senators2005

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A Nationals Triple A affiliate in Richmond would be AWESOME and make much better sense geographically.  Callups could take an quick trip up 95 to the parent club.  It's a hellava like closer than Colombus, that's for sure.  The financial situation for a delapidated stadium though is a mess.  It will take some intense negotion with the city to make it happen.  Something that made me want to put my head through a wall during the negotiations with the district when they were bidding over the Expos.

Offline tomterp

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It's going to take a lot more than a stadium - it's going to take a team willing to move there, and from the article posted there aren't any teams in the moving mood right now.

Offline Zilla05

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There certainly aren't any real candidates in the International League, and they'd have to have a pair of PCL teams jump if they could snag a team from out West.

It certainly looks like Columbus will try everything to grab the Indians or Reds, and probably the most likely candidate is Cleveland, and then you might see the Pirates return to Buffalo or the Blue Jays end their longstanding relationship with Syracuse for the proximity of Buffalo. In that case, it opens up Indianapolis or Syracuse for the Nats.

Unfortunately, doesn't look like they're going to get any closer to home if this happens.

And, am I the only one who thinks the Braves having a triple AAA team in the suburbs is a bad idea? They have enough trouble drawing fans downtown, let alone for minor-league baseball.

Offline saltydad

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Me, I'm for holding out until the Orioles leave Baltimore for Portland, and take the Baysox with them, and then we can put a team in Bowie.
:worship: :worship:

Offline GburgNatsFan

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I'd sort of like the Orioles to always be in Baltimore, and always worse than the Nationals. :)

:worship: :worship:

Offline deeznatz

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Apparently Columbus wants Cleveland(from Buffalo), the Mets could take Buffalo (moving from New Orleans where they are now), and the Buffalo franchise would then be avialble....Richmond!  Also mentioned was that Nashville was lookinh to sell and could be paired with Memphis to add two teams to the IL as it is almosty absurd for Mem and Nash to be in the PCL.

If Richmond gets her acts together, and I mean the entire region, and builds a quality stadium the Nats will make it happen.  Maybe they will even purchase or be part owners oif the team. 

I will miss minor leagie baseball here if it falls through, but I fully expect the Nats AAA team to be playing here in 2-3 years.

Offline CALSGR8

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Aren't there rules as to how close a Minor league team can be to a Major League team?  Isn't that why Silber has had a difficult time building a new stadium anywhere but in PW county?

Offline Rojo Johnson

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I just posted something in the Minor League discussion.  I didn't know this would be discussed in the Nats General discussion. 

AAA is not going to come back to Richmond.  The Nationals don't own the Clippers, so they just can't move them to Richmond.  They can negotiate with another team for affiliation, and then the Nationals would have to look for a new affiliation with a team already in AAA. 

I can see Potomac moving here, especially if the new development including a new stadium comes to being.  Hagerstown, too.  Harrisburg?  Maybe more of a longshot.