“Funnville” was all business at The Diamond Wednesday evening, as the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ home base played host to BizSense’s most ambitious event yet – which, as it turned out, brought the “Funn” too.
Nutzy the Flying Squirrel was among hundreds of attendees who filled the ballpark’s Funnville Fan Zone plaza for BizSense’s Future Of: The Boulevard event, which featured a panel discussion about the fate of The Diamond and the economic potential of the land surrounding it.
Sports Radio 910’s Wes McElroy moderated the panel that included Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, City Councilwoman Kim Gray, Flying Squirrels COO Todd “Parney” Parnell, VCU Athletics Director Ed McLaughlin and Spy Rock Real Estate’s Andrew Basham.
Questions ranged from the development potential and value of the 60-acre city-owned site, which Richmond leaders have eyed for years as a prime location for economic development if the aging ballpark was moved to another site, to the Flying Squirrels’ and VCU’s commitment to a new ballpark and how the city can go about achieving such projects.
Basham, whose development firm has been active in the booming Scott’s Addition neighborhood across the now-named Arthur Ashe Jr. Boulevard, stressed that a firm plan is the first step forward.
“If we can figure out where this baseball stadium is going, the private sector has been chomping at the bit for 15 years to come in here and make private investment in this area, and I believe that will continue,” Basham said.
“I will just say, we have a window. If we take too long to come up with this plan and to move these dominos forward, then we may have to wait another 15 years.”
Click here for more coverage from Wednesday’s event, which was presented by Hourigan with support from fellow sponsors BDO, Safe Harbor Title Co., South State Bank, Richmond Gas Works, Hickok Cole, James River Nurseries, S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co., Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Liphart Steel, Timmons Group, Aviva and Sands Anderson.