The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Council to field comments on stadium parking lot
Fredericksburg City Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday on the proposal to build a parking lot to serve a multipurpose baseball stadium in Celebrate Virginia South.
The council will consider amending both the Comprehensive Plan and the Capital Improvements Plan to build an 1,800-space, surface parking lot at an estimated cost of as much as $8 million.
The Planning Commission voted 5–0 on Sept. 25 to support the changes.
Owners of the minor league Hagerstown Suns, a Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, have applied to relocate to Fredericksburg. The principal owners of the Suns have partnered with New Jersey-based Diamond Nation to build a 4,750-seat stadium in Celebrate Virginia South.
Local businessman Ron Rosner has signed on as a minority partner, and his Rosner Automotive Group is purchasing stadium naming rights.
In addition to minor league baseball, the stadium site would host youth and amateur baseball and softball events operated by Diamond Nation on about five additional fields.
Fredericksburg Planning Director Chuck Johnston and Senior Planner Erik Nelson recommend approval of the changes to the CIP and comp plan, saying they are consistent with the tourism goals for Celebrate Virginia South and the city’s overall transportation plan.
The $29 million stadium complex would be built with private funds. The city would pay for the parking lot, which would be built on property adjoining the stadium site.
The cost of the land and construction of the parking lot has been estimated between $7 million and $8 million. The city and the stadium partners would share the lot’s revenue.
The Suns hope to have the stadium finished in time for the 2015 season.
Diamond Nation is expected to operate its tournaments, leagues and skills clinics about nine months of the year.
The city expects the minor league games to bring a paid attendance of 4,100 to 4,600 per game. The baseball and softball events at Diamond Nation are expected to draw as many as 230,000 people annually and account for 25,000 additional hotel room nights annually.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972