The Diamond (Richmond, Virginia)

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The Diamond
The Diamond, home of the Richmond Braves.jpg
The Diamond
Location 3001 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23230
Coordinates 37°34′18.50″N 77°27′49.44″W / 37.5718056°N 77.4637333°W / 37.5718056; -77.4637333Coordinates: 37°34′18.50″N 77°27′49.44″W / 37.5718056°N 77.4637333°W / 37.5718056; -77.4637333
Owner Richmond Metropolitan Authority
Operator Richmond Metropolitan Authority
Capacity 12,134 (VCU Rams)
9,560 (Flying Squirrels)
Field size Left field—330 feet
Center field—402 feet
Right field—330 feet
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground September 1984
Opened April 17, 1985[3]
Construction cost $8 million
($17.5 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Baskervill & Sons, Architects[2]
Structural engineer Thomas A. Hanson & Associates, Inc.[2]
General contractor McDevitt & Street[2]
Tenants
Richmond Braves (IL) (1985–2008)
Richmond Flying Squirrels (EL) (2010–present)
VCU Rams (A-10) (1985–present)
CAA Tournament (1987–1988)

The Diamond is a baseball stadium located in Richmond, Virginia, USA, on Boulevard. It is the home of Richmond Flying Squirrels of the Eastern League and the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team. From 1985 to 2008, it was the home of the Richmond Braves, the Triple-A minor league baseball affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. The Diamond seats 12,134 people for baseball; however, for Flying Squirrels games, advertising banners cover up the top rows of the upper deck, reducing seating capacity to 9,560. It replaced the demolished Parker Field, which had been built in 1934, as part of the fair grounds. Parker Field had been converted for baseball in 1954, replacing Mooers Field. Parker Field housed the Braves from 1966 to 1984. In 2003, part of The Diamond's roof was destroyed by Hurricane Isabel, and in 2004 a piece of a concrete beam (size of a football) fell on the stands below, though no fans were injured.

History[edit]

The Richmond Braves relocated to Gwinnett County, Georgia after the 2008 season. One factor in the franchise's decision to relocate was reportedly a failure to reach an agreement on building a new ballpark in Richmond. There was plan by a development group called the Richmond Baseball Initiative to build a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom near Main Street Station.[4] But in August 2009 the company that submitted this ballpark plan withdrew it. Under the plan, the Richmond Braves would have moved to the new stadium while the Diamond would become the sole home to Virginia Commonwealth University athletics. VCU Baseball previously shared the facility with the Braves for home games. The Diamond is owned by the Richmond Metropolitan Authority, which currently leases the facility to VCU.

Outfield and scoreboard

Renovations[edit]

The new team announced on October 2 that they were going to spend $1.5 million on renovations to the ballpark and the RMA gave an additional $75,000 for upgrades.[5] On October 28, 2009, the Richmond Flying Squirrels started renovations on the Diamond. They tore out aluminum benches and started to replace them with 3,200 dark green seats with cup holders. There are now 6,200 seats in the lower level. A new larger sized store was built for the "Squirrels." Extensive gutting and remodeling of the offices and new indoor batting cages are parts of the renovation plan as well.[6] For 2011, the scoreboard was enchanced and two new party decks were built in the upper level.[7]

Other events[edit]

The venue hosted the 1987 and 1988 Colonial Athletic Association Baseball Tournaments, won by East Carolina and George Mason, respectively.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "The Diamond". The Virginia Record Magazine (Richmond: Virginia Publishers Wing, Inc.) 107 (4): 17. 1985. 
  3. ^ Harrison, W. Daniel; Mayer, Scott P. (2003). Baseball in Richmond: A History of the Professional Game, 1884–2000. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-1489-5. 
  4. ^ Ress, Dave (February 2, 2008). "Braves, Richmond Failed to Connect". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ O'Connor, John (September 30, 2009). "Upgrades at The Diamond Allow Time to Choose Major Renovation or New Ballpark". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ O'Connor, John (March 27, 2010). "Bleacher Banners Give Diamond New Look, Fewer Seats". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ O'Connor, John (September 27, 2011). "Squirrels Plan No Additional Diamond Improvements". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Baseball Record Book". Colonial Athletic Association. pp. 6–10. Archived from the original on February 18, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012. 

External links[edit]