The Diamond on North Boulevard (Photo by Richard Macdonald)
Baseball may be staying on the Boulevard – but there’s a catch.
Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ administration, the Richmond Flying Squirrels and Virginia Commonwealth University announced Tuesday afternoon the three sides were working toward finding a site for a new minor league baseball stadium on the Boulevard, but removed from the coveted 60-acre parcel of city-owned land that is currently home to the Diamond, according to a release.
“This approach opens a pathway for full development of the city’s most valuable land, provides the Squirrels and VCU baseball with a new home and keeps the ballpark in an area that Richmonders love,” Jones said in the release.
The announcement comes a day after Richmond City Council heard a presentation from the consulting firm the Jones administration hired to determine the “highest and best use” of the site. The consultant recommended a mixed-use development for the property despite a series of public meetings where the majority of those in attendance expressed support for keeping the Diamond on the Boulevard.
Still unclear is who would pay for the new stadium. The city release says that the new stadium “would likely be primarily funded by the ballpark’s users.” The Flying Squirrels and the VCU baseball team currently play at The Diamond.
Over the next 90 days, the city will solicit a request for qualifications for the Boulevard area, the release stated.