Scanning the Net tonight, the consensus seems to be:
– Forget another Triple-A club. The IL is too stable right now.
– Minor League Baseball considers Richmond part of Eastern League (Double-A) or South Atlantic League (Single-A) territory. There are some shaky clubs in both leagues… but will this town support a lower minor league after poor support of the Braves?
– With Emperor Wilder up for re-election in 2008, there’s a sense that he needs to get a team signed and a ballpark plan done quickly before this swallows up his campaign.
There was one blog post I saw that speculated that Mandalay Entertainment, which owns a couple of teams in our “territory” (Erie of the Eastern League, Hagerstown of the South Atlantic), would be a candidate to come to Richmond and save us.
So here’s a pipe dream – Richmond trades the Coliseum property for land on the Boulevard, and does a deal with Mandalay for a full-blown sports complex with a ballpark for a relocated Double-A club (that could be expanded to Triple-A standards quickly if an opportunity comes about, like Durham’s ballpark was) and an arena to replace the Mausoleum.
Unfortunately, the reality is more likely to be a face-saving deal to put a coat of paint on the rotting Diamond, no deal on the obsolete Coliseum, and Wilder spinning like a top to salvage public-relations value so his re-election campaign doesn’t collapse into a months-long dirge called “Who Lost The Braves?”
So… Robert Royal has already said he’ll attend Farewell Season games. I may go once or twice. How about you?
I wonder how fast the Labor Day game, the R-Braves’ regular season game in Richmond and the last time Richmond will play Norfolk in any professional sport for the forseeable future, will sell out. 🙂
(Original comments from MySpace)
I honestly don’t know why the city seems fixated on putting any new stadium in shitty, middle-of-nowhere Boulevard. Really? With the James and the beautiful Richmond skyline, the best you can do is a run-down industrial area whose only attraction is “It’s easy to get to the interstate from there”? Would Harbor Park be what it is if it was in the most bombed-out area of Norfolk?
If the city ever gets its act together to spend money on a new park, at least put it somewhere that won’t be an eyesore. If they want to stick the park on a nondescript tract of land, put it in Henrico or something.
Posted by H. Wade Minter on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 10:34
The pipe dream you have Rob would be logical but remember we are talking about Wilder here who does not know the meaning of logical. He will do things half assed like always and he will lose out no matter what. Losing the braves already hit that campaign hard or at least it should. Since Short Pump is expanding beyond more and more, I would have sit a new arena in that general area as well as a ball park and had access to the deal off of Rt. 288.
I will attend some of the games this year because i never went to the games before, and I want to at least say I saw the Braves play here.
I do not think Richmond will jump on board with support of a new team off the bat but eventually may warm up to them, it is hard to say. But I am sure they will not support Wilder in anything no matter what he does right now.
Posted by Robert Royal on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 12:56