Flying Squirrels are clear: ‘We want a new stadium’

Only 85 days are left until the umpire says, “Play ball.”

Until then, the Richmond Flying Squirrels are scurrying to complete $2 million in renovations and sell remaining sponsorships.

“We have an awful lot of work to do,” said Todd Parnell, chief operations officer.

Parnell, who goes by “Parney,” and Chief Executive Manager Chuck Domino spoke at Tuesday’s meeting of the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate about the economic impact of baseball.

Domino said the baseball team would generate between $30 million and $40 million in annual economic impact. That figure is based on multiplying by five the money generated by the organization, including team salaries, operations spending and money spent in the community by the team, visiting teams, umpires, etc.

“It’s hard to measure the impact of Minor League Baseball,” said Domino. “They give a formula and it spouts out a number. You can believe it or not believe it.”

Domino said the team is spending more on renovations to the Diamond than the $1.5 million originally planned.

“We are putting in closer to $2 million,” he said. “Every day we uncover something else we want to make better.”

He added that about three-quarters of the budget was being spent on local goods and services. Some of the upgrades include renovated locker rooms, an air conditioned batting tunnel and new seats with cup holders.

Although the Squirrels are making significant renovations to the Diamond, Domino made it clear that the team hopes to have a new facility in the next three to five years.

“We want a new stadium,” said Domino, without naming a specific location.

“Financing is the main thing,” he said. Wherever “financing is best going to work, the team will stand shoulder to shoulder with local jurisdictions and pay our fair share.”

Domino said the team has sold more than 600 season tickets at $568 apiece. Domino also said he’s sold 12 of the 15 box suites.

Two of the remaining suites will be sold on a game-by-game basis, and the other suite is reserved for the RMA.

Parnell, the team COO, talked more about the effect that the team wants to have on the community.

“There is an economic impact, and then there is the community impact,” Parnell said. “Our goal is not to be here only from April to August but to be an active member of the community all year round.”

The team collected 600 coats during a drive for Coats for Kids and collected toys for Toys for Tots. In December, the team donated 10 percent of each day’s merchandise sales to a different charity; Parnell said the checks totaled $15,000.

“Our first year is setting a tone that we are making an impact and are here for the long haul,” Parnell said.

Al Harris is a BizSense reporter. Please send news tips to [email protected]

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11 Comments on "Flying Squirrels are clear: ‘We want a new stadium’"

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[…] Squirrels’ Vision for the Future Includes New Ballpark Jump to Comments Despite pumping more than $1.5 million into The Diamond in preparation for the inaugural 2010 season for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the team wants a new stadium.  At a Greater Richmond Area of Commercial Real Estate meeting yesterday, Squirrels’ chief executive manager Chuck Domino indicated that the club would like a new ballpark within the next three years, and the Squirrels would be willing to pay their fair share of the cost to make it happen.  Read more here. […]

JJ
Guest

Gee, you haven’t even played your first game yet and you are already spouting off about how great you are for the local economy and that you want a new stadium. The Diamond is more than adequate as a squirrels nest, you will have to leave town to get a new stadium. That is of course, unless you pay for it all yourself, which should be the case.

Formerly SBD
Guest

They are not even started their first season and already demanding a new stadium

Adam
Guest

If they definitely need a new stadium, they definitely need to find some private investors who are willing to finance it. It is a disgrace that baseball players ‘earn what the free market will bear’, but we taxpayers have to fund the stadium as if it is a pity party.

Chris Miller
Guest
What a shocker? …not really. I spent time working on 3D animation and rendering proposals/plans with the a group of investors ready to shell out big bucks to bring major updates to the existing central city stadium site – not just a $2,000,000 face lift. However, after getting shunned by city officials with even a courtesy meeting, they pulled out of the project. Quite a shame since Opening Day Partners has a track record of 13+ complete successes around the country for such ventures. As a tax paying Richmond City home owner, I was discussed to hear that our elected… Read more »
Justin
Guest

nevermind the stadium demand, did you catch that one of the box suites is reserved for the RMA? What the heck is this?

Formerly SBD
Guest

Chris
Richmond also let the Braves go in the first place so I really don’t see the suprise either. I think you could find plenty of other projects to be proud of but this one is way too soon. The Squirrels are assuming they will even have a fan base. You never negotiate without having proven worth of your cause or expect people to either ignore you if not laugh

Brett
Guest
Let them pay for it. This is 2010, not 1910, baseball is dead whether America wants to believe it or not. I wouldn’t donate $5 to fund that stadium and I love Richmond, live in the city and have lived here my whole life. How many sports teams have been here and gone in just the last ten years, 3 arena football teams, 3 hockey teams, 1 basketball team, 1 baseball team? The most successful events in town involve music, art and food, not sports, except NASCAR. Put the tax dollars towards the endless potholes, deteriorating parks and vacant City… Read more »
ddub28
Guest

You are correct Brett… Richmond is not a sports town. They like their festivals though…

k b wiley
Guest

let me guess,you all have visions of sugarplums dancing in your heads,face facts the diamond and coliseum are dumps and have to eventually meet da wrecking ball…….lets get outta the stone ages folks……

Brandon
Guest

Im going to be pissed if the flying squirrels get a new stadium because if we are going to get a new stadium than we never had to get rid of the braves.

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