Exit Braves, stage left…

Congratulations to Emperor Wilder and the other asshats who make decisions in the Richmond metro area.

The Braves organization finally got tired of the delays, arguments, and diversions and are pulling the Richmond Braves out.  By 2010 at the latest, possibly 2009, the AAA Braves will play in a new ballpark in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett.  Gwinnett also has an ECHL hockey team (we have the SPHL, several rungs lower) and an AF2 football team (indoor what?).

Given the fact that this is a new city for AAA baseball, it is extremely unlikely that there will be another AAA franchise available to move to Richmond, so the 2008 season could well be the last minor-league baseball season for our area for a good long time.

Combined with the waffling over the Richmond Coliseum, the downtown Performing Arts Center, and the disastrous handling of the School Board move/non-move… as well as all of the other problems Richmond still has… it appears Richmond’s Emperor really has no clothes.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone has a hand in this.  The Braves haven’t drawn in years, and one of the reasons we’re no longer in the ECHL or AF2 is because of dismal attendance.

But if you think AF2 attendance was dismal… just wait until a lame-duck baseball season.  Richmond’s attendance could be lower than the Appalachian (rookie) league teams in Danville or Martinsville.   This town won’t support a winning team — can you imagine what it’ll do to a lame-duck team?(Original comments from MySpace)

As a big R-Braves supporter dating back to when I was like 10, this is a sad day. Not surprising really given all that has gone on & NOT happened in relation to the ballpark issue. It just left me shaking my head how many times a new proposal would be made to fix this baseball stadium issue, people would discuss it for a week, then you would hear ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for like 3-4 months on end. The city coucilman I heard said it best, when Atlanta offered to pay 1/3 of the costs of a new stadium back in the spring and no one jumped on that, that spelled the end of it.

I am wondering about attendance this year, coming off a Governor’s Cup Championship season. Either people will support it knowing it’s the last season (possibly) or stay away in protest. IF, BIG “IF” they do build a new stadium and we can attract a AA or AAA Nationals affiliate (which seems to be the in-vogue rumor going on 3 years now), I would only attend if they are playing a Braves affiliate. It will be easier to stomach a new team if the stadium is new though.

Truly the end of an era here today.

Posted by Tim Noel on Monday, January 14, 2008 at 21:03

It is very sad to hear about the deal with the Braves. I will be attending a few games this season as I have never attended a Richmond Braves game but I know a lot of people who have. I just want to be able to go see them play before the magic is gone from Richmond thanks to the dumbasses who let the team slip away. They should have built the new stadium and not give the run around. Great move Wilder….dumb ass.

Posted by Robert Royal on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 01:22

Frick – that’s a shame to see the Braves go, and it really looks like most of the blame can be handed to the city leadership. That’s horrible.

Posted by H. Wade Minter on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 12:31

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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