Virginia politics, policy and entertainment from the Greater Richmond-Washington Metro Area perspective.

Battle Shaping Up Over New Stadium Site For Potomac Nationals

Several news sources are reporting that a new stadium for the Potomac Nationals will be built alongside I-95 in the Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center development near Wegmans.  Indications are that the stadium will not be built at taxpayer expense, but rather through naming rights and other private funding sources.

There is already a battle shaping up in the online comments over this with many people moaning and wailing over what will become of all the trees and wildlife.  Others remark about the increased traffic as if people will be going to and from the stadium 24/7/365.  Here’s a reality check on that front.  In April, they played 9 home games; May had 18 home games (on 16 days – 2 double headers); June had 15 home games (on 12 days – 3 double headers); 14 games are scheduled for July; and 15 for August.  (They play 3 away games in September.)  That is a total of 66 days this year they are playing at home.  Many of those games will be at 7:05 PM on weeknights after most daily commuter traffic in that area has subsided.  Saturday night games usually begin around 6:35 PM while games played on Sunday afternoons are typically played at 1:05 PM.  Again, these are not times where there is usually heavy traffic in the area.

Many people have taken a look at the proposed site and dismissed it out of hand as being too small for such a project.  However, the adjacent Wegmans is 138,000 square feet. Fair territory at Fenway Park in Boston is 99,000. Even if the full playing field for this stadium including foul territory was the size of Wegmans, add on the seating and exterior and at most it would take up 1/3 of the area shown in the aerial photograph on InsideNOVA, so there should be plenty of additional space for parking.

I’m open to the possibilities with this, especially if VDOT makes some changes to the exits and entrances to I-95 at the exit to help facilitate the free-flow of traffic.  Those who support this project should take care not to allow the same forces that took down Disney’s America in Western Prince William County nearly 20 years ago from dooming this project as well.

 

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12 Responses to “Battle Shaping Up Over New Stadium Site For Potomac Nationals”

  1. Manny

    “Indications are that the stadium will not be built at taxpayer expense, but rather through naming rights and other private funding sources”

    That’s a refreshing change of pace.

  2. Howard Roark

    How do we know the stadium won’t be another scam like the Wartime Museum? Taxpayers have already poured nearly $1 million into that black hole with no results. Its promoters told us when the BOCS approved it in October 2010 that it would henceforth be financed completely with private funds. They failed dismally at fund-raising and are coming back this summer for another $1 million of our money from the carryover. The baseball stadium might actually attract enough fans willing to pay for a ticket to finance itself. I don’t know. I just know that I don’t want another Wartime Museum, Rainbow Riding, Manassas Ballet, Hylton Center, or other boondoggle sucking up our tax money that could be used for education, police, tax reductions or something else that would actually benefit the taxpayers of Prince William County.

  3. Potomac Clubber

    This could be the single best investment in the history of Eastern Prince William County.

    • Riley

      Stonebridge is already shaping up to be a great destination (not to mention the upscale redevelopment going on at Potomac Mills just across I-95 as well). This could truly be a crown jewel for the county if they do this right.

  4. Ken Reynolds

    I am skeptical given the scam that Art Silber tried to pull over on county and state taxpayers the last time he tried to put the stadium on Cherry Hill; we would pay for everything and he would end up owning everything. As an aside, Art has been funding large amounts of Coreys political campaign needs. Not a good mix. Apart from these observations, baseball would be great. Hopefullly they are saaving room for Double A or more, given out population. But i will kick and scream like i did at Disney if they try to screw the taxpayers………….good analysis of the playing times!!!!

    • Riley

      As I said, Ken, if this is privately funded (whether it be through stadium naming rights or whatever), I’m fine with this. Taxpayer funds would be a no-no in my book given the nation’s economic climate and I would be among the first to denounce such a move.

      Exactly how did Disney try to screw the taxpayers? We wound up getting screwed with all the housing developments that were built in its place that didn’t create any jobs or build additional infrastructure as Disney would have done.

  5. Mom

    Riley you’ll have to pardon me if I am a bit cynical and skeptical give that the principals involved have donated nearly $70 grand to Corey. Same old, same old in the PWC.

    • Riley

      Always good to know.

      One positive note. It seems that a new VDOT commuter parking lot will be part of this site, so that would more than make up for the spaces lost at Potomac Mills.

    • Howard Roark

      This is what concerns me. Corey has backed many of these scams that turned out to be favors for campaign contributors and developers. I agree with Riley that the stadium could be a great addition to our economy and quality of life. However, I don’t want taxpayer money involved. With Corey behind this, especially carrying big sacks of campaign contributions from the people who will benefit most directly, I’m concerned.

      I’m with Riley at heart but with Mom in my brain.

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