Foul tip: Flying Squirrels future in Richmond remains murky

Despite the fact that plans for a children's hospital on the Boulevard fell apart, the city remains uncommitted to the ball club

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The mayor of Richmond is facing pushback from the Richmond Flying Squirrels. This summer, the city announced the Squirrels could be moving out of the Diamond on the Boulevard if plans for a new children’s hospital moved forward.

Diamond

“We would like to remain on the Boulevard as part of any development that is agreed upon. The thought that we could be evicted from the Boulevard in 2018, with no place to play, is unfathomable.”

— Flying Squirrels President Lou DiBella

The understanding was that the Squirrels, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, would find another place to play in the city or one of the surrounding counties.

This week, plans for that children’s hospital fell apart.

But, according to the Squirrel’s front office, Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones continues to remain uncommitted to the AA ball club and has reportedly said that baseball in Richmond is not a priority. This has left Flying Squirrels President and Managing General Partner Lou DiBella feeling abandoned.

“We believe we are an integral part of the greater Richmond community and that we have over-delivered on our promises by all measures,” DiBella said in an email to 8News. “We would like to remain on the Boulevard as part of any development that is agreed upon. The thought that we could be evicted from the Boulevard in 2018, with no place to play, is unfathomable.”

The Squirrels, who have been in Richmond since 2010, have a deal with the city to play in the Diamond until the end of the 2017 season. Anything past that is very uncertain at this point.

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