The Blog Squad

Monday, January 14, 2008

Richmond Braves Moving

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting on its Web site that the Class AAA Richmond Braves are moving to Gwinnett County, which is a suburb of Atlanta.

The move will come following the 2010 season when the Braves’ lease with The Diamond expires.

Reporter David O’Brien cites two unnamed sources familiar with the situation. John Emmett, public relations manager for the Richmond Braves, said the team had "no comment on today's report."

The Braves have played at The Diamond since the mid-1980s and have been a part of the Richmond community since 1966. However, the deteriorating ballpark has raised questions from the Atlanta Braves franchise, local fans and Richmond city officials whether a new stadium should be built or an extensive renovation of The Diamond should take place.

No decision was reached and further discussions were put on hold after the Braves agreed to extend the current lease for up to three years in late August. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the parent team also said it was ready to hike annual rent payments to nearly $750,000 a year over 20 years for a new stadium that would cost around $35 million. That contribution would have accounted for nearly half of the annual cost to finance the stadium.

But the city hesitated and began a search to hire a developer for the Boulevard. The Times-Dispatch reported that this move frustrated Atlanta officials who were eager to sign a new agreement quickly.

It would appear the city was trying to play chicken with the Braves instead of sharing the road. There was no way the Atlanta franchise was going to entirely pay for a new stadium. It would seem each time the parent club tried to be reasonable and nail down a deal, the city came up with a reason to balk.

Now, the Braves have blinked and turned off the road to head back to Georgia. Maybe the city was gambling upon the perceived lack of interest in keeping the Braves. It will be interesting to realize if this notion is true.

A guess? Richmonders will not miss the team.

24 Comments:

At Mon Jan 14, 02:54:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're wrong to think Richmonders won't miss the team ... I'm one fan among many that's already crying the blues!!!

 
At Mon Jan 14, 05:01:00 PM EST, Blogger Eric said...

I think many of us will miss it. True many of us are not huge baseball fans. But are family goes every year and we will miss being able to do that.

 
At Mon Jan 14, 11:12:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richmond will be losing one of America's greatest family institutions. I am deeply saddened that I will not be able to take my children to Braves games as my parents did for me in the summer. This is a huge loss for our city.

 
At Tue Jan 15, 07:41:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, I agree that most Richmonders just don't care about having the Braves around anymore. I am upset this has happened and always enjoyed going to games but even I as a casual fan only went to three or four games a year. This city can't hold a sports franchise to save its life. Remember the Renegades? No, I mean the original Renegades. And the Arena II football team, the Speed? What about the Riverdogs? No? Doesn't ring a bell? Richmond is an awful sports city with little to no interest in being a good one.

 
At Tue Jan 15, 08:42:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone wake Doug Wilder and ask for his comments?

 
At Tue Jan 15, 04:02:00 PM EST, Anonymous poppy said...

It will be a sad day when the braves leave.Richmond goverment officials should take a little more pride and think of the kids in the area.

 
At Tue Jan 15, 04:33:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here we go again; the City of Richmond has dropped the ball and has now lost the Braves. The Richmond Braves are a staple in this city, whether you were a loyal fan or an occasional attendant of their games. I can’t imagine riding down I-95 on a hot summer night and not seeing that stadium all lit up! When at a minimum, all that had to be done to resolve the current problems; would have been to fix the field and upgrade the Diamond; it didn’t take a genius to figure this much out. The City of Richmond needs to learn how to work together and stop all of its fighting; then maybe they can get some real work done. It’s becoming embarrassing to call this city my home.

 
At Tue Jan 15, 04:45:00 PM EST, Blogger Robert Ullman said...

"I can’t imagine riding down I-95 on a hot summer night and not seeing that stadium all lit up!"

All lit up and devoid of spectators, you mean.

I live less than two miles from the Diamond, and it's such a charmless hole I went there just once last season. To the average fan, minor league ball is not really about the product on the field, as much as the experience and the atmosphere...something that is sorely lacking at the Diamond!

Good riddance to the Braves organization, they don't give a rip about Richmond anyway (do you realize it didn't even say "Richmond" on their jerseys?) We need to get our own team, with local owners and a name and spirit unique to our town, and build a smaller, more intimate park where you actually feel close to the action on the field. And if that's a AA or A team, so be it.

 
At Tue Jan 15, 08:21:00 PM EST, Anonymous james m said...

The city of Richmond should rid themselves of the menace in city hall named Doug Wilder. He has destroyed an institution in Richmond by playing "hardball" with an organization sincere in its attempts to keep the Braves in this city. Wilder was stupid to think he could convince the Atl Braves to finance our team. Now we
have nothing. He will be gone hopefully, but this move is a per-
manent scar on the city of Richmond, and the state of Virginia in its future bids for professional franchises that may be on the move to relocate. Once again a team has folded and left this region in search of greener pastures. Not being from Richmond originally, I saw the same ordeal in Hampton Roads with pro hockey and basketball. The Norfolk Tides recently lost their affiliation with the N.Y. Mets, but were able to latch onto Baltimore, probably because they have a NICE ballpark.
Richmonders, I feel your pain...

 
At Tue Jan 15, 11:32:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

let them go. the fact that we find out from a GA press conference is proof enough that they don't give a rip about richmond anymore. there's plenty of blame to go around, but the city doesn't deserve all the blame. and the braves are now posturing all over the news about how much better off they're gonna be? fine. get out. don't let the doorknob hit you on your way out. don't worry. we'll get a better team.

 
At Wed Jan 16, 03:01:00 AM EST, Anonymous j said...

I say we use this as an opportunity. Forget baseball though. Get Richmond to build a stadium there and get VCU to provide the football team. Start something that can't be moved to another city. Start something that would draw way more fans than the Braves games ever could.

 
At Wed Jan 16, 05:45:00 PM EST, Anonymous Save The Braves said...

1500+ signatures and still growing: Show your support - http://www.savetheRbraves.com

 
At Wed Jan 16, 08:33:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! BRING ON THE NATIONALS

 
At Thu Jan 17, 12:25:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wilder's ego wins again...
dougie says it is not his fault at all and where were the fans these last few years...i haven't gone to a game in several years..why, not because of the team's play but the falling apart at the seams diamond..remember the falling concrete incident...the concessions were bad...rude stadium staff...location, location location...geez, what a beautiful area with a bus station and a bill's barbecue for dinner (worst barbecue in the city, if you call that stuff barbecue) ...the area was sorta safe, because isn't much there to draw anyone there...it just looks creepy at night...i have been in the boxed seats and let me tell you, it would make an impression on a client - negative...

sure the brave's management appeared to play dirty ball with richmond but how many years did wilder have to get an acceptable deal...will the new braves pull some attendance away from the major team..i really hope so as it seems so odd to put a AAA team in such close proximity...hope it bites them in the butt...

my wife wants to go to one of the final games this summer..i said no way, we will take our son to dc or baltimore or even norfolk...i will not spend a dime on the gwinnett braves nor do i plan on ever walking into the diamond again...time to go diamond and wilder...richmond braves are dead and gone...i used to live in atlanta and i supported the team until the last strike...the braves are no longer mine...

wilder you talk a great game, but stike out every time...new schools - uhh, can't afford them since you have move the school board, a small arts center as opposed to grander one, but you improved your office digs and you have a security detail (after this I understand) and whatever happened to the money raised in the added tax on restaurants in richmond for the arts center....

sorry, i am long winded and venting

 
At Thu Jan 17, 12:39:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a petition to save them...no way...you think that will work..geez, atlanta is not mayberry
10,000 1,000,000 signatures whatever ..it is a done deal..i say the braves are dead...forget it, done...don't support them this year, stay away..sure the local businesses will suffer but it will reflect on king wilder...sure, it would be nice to get the nationals aaa team..or any aaa team...but knowing wilder it will a "a" or lower...who wants to deal with this nutcase...and his stupid cowboy boots...baseball is a business, not a sport, it is an entertainment business for profit..they don't care about richmond or the average fan after they have purchased a ticket...

a riverside stadium would be the best setting...down near the fed reserve..ooops, wilder let that property go to westvaco...river city, no we are the greyhound city

 
At Mon Jan 21, 07:59:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Wilder, I will tell my son when he gets older about the team we once had and how you ruined for all of us. One of the worst thing that has happened to Richmond. We will all miss the Braves

 
At Mon Jan 21, 07:55:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why there can't a professional team in Richmond. The city and surrounding area has the population to support it. As a near graduate and future Richmond resident, I would love to have a hometown team to represent. Do the people of Richmond not care about sports? I do know one thing, I've seen the stadium that holds the braves home games and to me it seemed like it was in a bad area of Richmond. No wonder no one went to the games.

 
At Tue Jan 22, 01:03:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea... no one cares. the braves were a trash team, and the diamond was a trash venue.

 
At Mon Jan 28, 05:25:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read through these comments and surprised that only one person mentioned affiliating with the Washington Nationals. If Richmond can follow the Redskins, why not the Nats?

 
At Fri Feb 08, 08:11:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the anonymous writer.
when you wrote that richmond had a trash team and that the Diamond was atrash venue, you really ticked me off and did you know that every year the Braves have a scout day at the Diamond, where the boy and cub scouts can go walk around the field just before the game (during the national anthem.)

 
At Sun Apr 13, 08:28:00 PM EDT, Blogger atlantabraves567 said...

I will miss the braves. Everyday when I have nothing to do I check on the in-state minor league teams. Now I only have to check on three. And when I go to Richmond games, I cant wear my Atlanta hat. I will miss them badly.

 
At Wed May 21, 11:31:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been in Richmond since the 90's, and never cared to attend a game, passed the ballpark many times, and it's a venue with its support and appeal, but not enough for city leaders to stop bickering over locations vs renovations or for the league to continue to try to care. Their leaving (the Braves and the mayor) may be a much needed kick in the pants for all three sides, the league, the city and the citizens. Shame a new team is locked out until the old is securely gone . . .

 
At Thu Aug 28, 09:51:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually the team will start play in Gwinnet County in 2009, provided the new stadium is complete. (No reason to believe it won't be ready)

I hope it works down there, but if fan support is anything like Atlanta's sports teams...well let's not think about that now.

 
At Thu Dec 25, 12:19:00 AM EST, Anonymous widmarc clark said...

Richmond fans if you don't support a team it will leave. Even if a
team is supported it might leave.
I can't see moving the team to Guinnett,Ga so close to Atlanta, that's what the Braves did. Baseball has changed down through the years the new people are not the people of the 40's 50's and
60's and don't forget Brooklyn
moved to La then The Gaints moved
to San Francisco.

The Braves may leave Atlanta in
a few years or maybe 2010 who can ever know. Every town can't have MLB, if that should happen you'd bewatching a game on the same level
with High School.

Forget the Braves find another sport go fishing or hunting or taake up golf. A least Richmond
will never be as ignorant as The NY
Yankess. That team is a joke. Put a cap on Free agency for pete sake.
Use minor league players early put
don't keep buying players that leave then their contract is up.
I'd be ashamed to admit if I
was a millionaire I'd be that stupid with my money. Now Ted Turner now folks " What A Nut Case " Better he's out of baseball
and I believe he's out of his mind also.

widmarc clark

 

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