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People in the Fredericksburg region are excited about the prospect of a multipurpose stadium and minor league baseball team in the city.
The one recurring concern expressed in interviews with people from the region on Sunday was traffic.
That issue alone was enough for Spotsylvania County resident Jack Boucher to say he didn’t support the plan being considered by Fredericksburg officials and the minor league Hagers-town (Md.) Suns.ck wording
“Right now, we’re stuck in such gridlock I can’t imagine bringing anything else here that brings more traffic,” said Boucher, who commutes up Interstate 95 to Washington for work.
However, if a stadium is built in Fredericksburg’s Celebrate Virginia South, he would attend a game once in a while, he said while shopping at the downtown Fredericksburg sports memorabilia store Card Cellar.
Boucher was the only person interviewed Sunday who opposed the stadium.
A dozen people interviewed at gathering spots in the region and others queried via a poll at fredericksburg.com were asked how often they would attend a game if the Hagerstown Suns relocated to Fredericksburg.
They were given four options: being a season ticket holder; attending numerous times in a season; attending once in a while; or never.
As of early Sunday evening, more than 870 people had responded online with the highest number—43 percent—saying they would attend numerous times. That was followed by 23 percent saying they would buy season tickets, and 21 percent saying they would attend once in a while.
Fourteen percent said they wouldn’t attend any games.
Of the people interviewed in person, all said they would attend at least one game, with most saying they would probably go multiple times.
Shannon Harris was at Fredericksburg’s City Dock on Sunday with her husband, Tom Harris, sister, Tara McCoy, and nephew, William McCoy, as the two males fished.
The Spotsylvania resident said she was excited about the revenue the proposal could bring to the city, and both she and her sister loved the idea of having a local stadium for concerts.
As another commuter to Washington, she likes finding entertainment closer to home.
She suggested organizers plan concerts for Saturday nights rather than Fridays in deference to commuters.
“I’m lucky to get home by 7 p.m. on a Friday night,” she said.
Samantha Atkins of Spotsylvania was reading a book while her 11-year-old son Scott was reeling in catfish at City Dock.
“I think it would provide a sense of community, having a team,” she said.
Because of proximity, she said she could see herself attending multiple games with her children.
Glen Truslow of Fredericksburg said baseball would be great for the city because it needs more entertainment options.
Randy Childs, a Fredericksburg native who now lives in Stafford County, said the city needs a larger facility for events than Maury Stadium. With the number of people living in Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg, he thinks there is plenty of support for a Class A or AA minor league club.
He said he’d probably become a season ticket holder if the city gets a team. The Suns have said they could relocate as soon as the 2015 season.
Troy Lane of Fredericksburg likes the idea of having a baseball team in the city primarily because it would mean he wouldn’t need to get on Interstate 95 to take in a game.
He jokingly suggested the team be named the Chicago Cubs, but then, like several others, said the name should reflect the region’s history—although some could stir controversy.
He suggested the Fredericksburg Confederates. Two others liked the Fredericksburg Generals—a name previously used by a semi-pro football team and currently the name of a semi-pro soccer team.
Others proposed the Suns, the Sons, the Sharks or the Docks, a nod to the city’s riverfront.
Three suggested the Fredericksburg Nationals, since the team would be the Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.
Charlton and Debbie Stewardson of Spotsylvania were at Carl’s in downtown Fredericksburg on Sunday for frozen custard and said they would enjoy taking their three daughters to games.
He, however, would rather have the stadium on Route 2 in Spotsylvania than in Celebrate Virginia.
Debbie Stewardson was less concerned about location than a team’s timing.
“I’ve been living her for 20 years,” she said. “I think they are way overdue.”
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972