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PLAN: BUILD SUPPORT, THEN STADIUM
Where would baseball stadium go?


Date published: 8/16/2012

BY BILL FREEHLING

A local group working on bringing professional baseball to the Fredericksburg area is taking a regional approach rather than trying to identify the best individual site for a possible stadium.

Both Bob Hagan, former president of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Fredericksburg City Councilman Matt Kelly say the most important thing at this stage is building regional support for bringing a minor league team to the region. Hagan and Kelly have been actively involved in the volunteer effort through a group called the Rappahannock Baseball Initiative.

Only after there is regional support should a specific stadium location be chosen, Hagan and Kelly say. Hagan hopes that once there is public support, a site will become clear. They've said only that it would likely be along the Interstate 95 corridor between Stafford and Caroline counties.

The vision is for a family-friendly stadium seating about 5,000 people that could house not only baseball games but also year-round events including concerts and various community gatherings. It would target people who live within 30 minutes of the stadium. The stadium and new team could create a few dozen full-time jobs and hundreds of part-time positions.

Hagan said there are several possible spots in the region that could work for a small stadium, including the site of the State Fair of Virginia in Caroline County, land along Centreport Parkway in Stafford County, the area near Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center and Celebrate Virginia South in Fredericksburg.

The Silver Cos. is developing Celebrate Virginia South, which is the site of an outdoor concert series called Celebrate Virginia Live that has attracted nationally known musical acts. Celebrate Virginia also includes the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center, which brings many other events to the area, and three hotels. The development is also right in the middle of the region, is directly off Interstate 95 and has ample available open land and developed roads.


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