We’re all aware of the arguments that have popped up over the past couple of years about the state of repairs at the Diamond, where the Class AAA Richmond Braves baseball team play on the Boulevard here in Richmond. The team is demanding that Richmond either restores the Diamond, or build them a brand-new stadium — or, they will move.
There has been a lot of back and forth about a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom (nixed after extensive discussions), about alternate placements of a new stadium (maybe right beside the current stadium), and about renovating the current stadium. Nothing has been settled, and it seems as though the Braves are planning to force the city to make a decision by recent stirrings in Atlanta.
I hadn’t heard anything recently about the issue until I received an email from Jeff Hullinger with WSB Radio in Atlanta asking how I thought the Braves’ move to Atlanta would impact local business here in Richmond. My reaction was to find out if there was some breaking news about it. I didn’t find anything locally (however, I’m sure there will be some stories popping up momentarily, even if they haven’t while I’m writing this posting). The news is all over Atlanta, though. (Oh, and if you’re in Atlanta, listen for me on the show!)
The announcement on the move "will be coming in the foreseeable future," an official for the Gwinnett County Convention and Visitors Bureau said Monday. Lisa Anders, marketing manager for the visitor’s bureau, declined to elaborate on what the announcement would entail [or] when it would be made…
The question is whether this is all just huffing-and-puffing by the Braves to force the city to make a decision finally? It would be a shame to lose them, with such great ideas on the table about renovating the property around the Diamond and all of the redevelopment happening now on the Boulevard.
On the other hand, sometimes we need big changes to shake things up a bit and make us think more creatively. I bet even if they do move, while Richmond will miss the Braves, we will use the opportunity to do something even better with the stadium.
What do you think about the possibility of the move? What do you think we would do with the Diamond and surrounding land if they do move?