Thursday, July 23, 2009
Baseball in Chesterfield? Why not?
If you live in Chesterfield, the idea behind "regionalism" in the last few years has met with resistance by the masses throughout the greater Richmond area. Its no wonder given the complete inability for the City of Richmond to release itself from the stranglehold of city politics. Whether we are are talking about City schools, budgets, the politics of personal destruction and its latest inability to get a deal for Baseball in the Bottom. Residents of Chesterfield and Henrico County in the last decade have seen the City of Richmond as more of a problematic liability than a partner in the future.
The latest development that casts the City of Richmond in a dark shadow is the development out of Loudoun County regarding the potential for the Kincora development at the intersection of Rt. 7 and Rt. 28. The proposed site is home to some 424 acres of mixed-use development with a proposed 5,500 seat Baseball stadium for an Atlantic Minor League baseball team supported by the likes of Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson.
The model of success for such proposals in terms of Baseball is the Long Island stadium where the Ducks in the Atlantic league play and have contributed to greater economic development for the community.
Given the demographics of Loudoun County, it is no wonder why many residnts of Chesterfield are asking themselves why Chesterfield couold not be a wonderful home for a minor league baseball franchise. After all, the Braves franchise moved from Richmond to Gwinnett County in the suburbs of Atlanta. Chesterfield has about twice as many people as Loudoun County with a very similar demographic, though the adjusted gross income may be slightly higher in Loudoun. Chesterfield, however does have more children involved in community athletics such as youth baseball, soccer, football, swimming, volleyball, tennis etc than Loudoun.
It really makes you wonder why there has been all this concentration with baseball in the City when their appear to be viable alternatives in suburbia in the greater Richmond area.
Would you be willing to support a Chesterfield-based franchise over a City-based one in terms of regular attendance at the ballpark?
One key aspect to the Kincora plans is the stadium has NO public funding. Translation; no tax payer funding.
Given the upcoming sessions of the Steering Committee looking into providing guidance for the new Chesterfield Comprehensive Planning, we must make sure that we leave in our planning the opportunity for the County to be a home to such a project like Kincora should it ever come our way.
Posted by FoodforThought at 5:46 PM