Mayor Jones optimistic plans for new stadium will be finalized

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RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones is feeling optimistic about getting the Flying Squirrels a new home near the Boulevard. On Monday, the city, VCU and the minor league baseball team announced that an agreement  had been reached between the three parties to keep the team near it’s existing home at the Diamond.

On Monday, the city, VCU and the minor league baseball team announced that an agreement  had been reached between the three parties to keep the team near its existing home at the Diamond.

726b4ea449434a85afbf4001902172f7On Tuesday, Mayor Jones said discussions between all the vested stakeholders are moving in the same direction.

“It’s good, I think that Richmond has limited possibilities for economic development, and great needs for schools and infrastructure,” Mayor Jones said. “So we’ve got to generate income, so economic development is extremely important.”

Mayor Jones added that the city is working to clear the 60-acre land for future development on the Boulevard. He hopes nearby regions will help fund the stadium, especially since he says 66 percent of fans who watch baseball on the Boulevard come from neighboring counties.

adfbacaa5e41401283d10036ea4d322bThe mayor is not saying exactly where the stadium will be built, although councilman Chris Hilbert stated one possibility may be the existing ABC facility currently seated near The Diamond.

“There’s lots of rumors out there, but I’ll say that the parcel that’s most mentioned is not paying any real estate taxes right now anyway so there would be no net loss to the city because of that,” stated Hilbert.

The 3rd District Councilman added that he is excited about the city utilizing the new stadium for more than just baseball.

“I’m excited about the possibility of this also being used as a concert venue,” Hilber said. “I think that Richmond lacks that,  a lot of national acts go from Washington to Charlottesville, to John Paul Jones arena  I think during the summer when we can have acts play outside we’re going to get those national acts back in Richmond, and they will pay admission tax for that so that’s another benefit for the city of Richmond,” said Hilbert.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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