York, Southern Maryland … Richmond?
Brooks Robinson is expanding his minor league interests. The part-owner of the York Revolution and the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs is hoping to help redo Richmond’s minor league stadium and host a Double-A Eastern league team there. Richmond recently lost the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate to Gwinnett County, Ga.
The Richmond Metropolitan Authority has termed a renovation proposal by Opening Day Partners (ODP), which includes Robinson as a principal and is chaired by Peter Kirk, the former owner/operator of Baltimore Orioles farm clubs, “intriguing and worthy of evaluation.”
Opening Day Partners today will release a $28 million plan for a “transformation” of The Diamond.
ODP, based in Annapolis, Md., last spring delivered a $40 million proposal to the city for a new ballpark that could be located on the Boulevard, or at another Richmond-area site. ODP’s transformation plan proposes a “brand new, state-of-the-art ballpark and community activity venue” on the footprint of The Diamond.
The Diamond opened in 1985, and its condition influenced the Atlanta Braves to move their Class AAA franchise from Richmond to Gwinnett County, Ga., after last season. The Diamond could be fully transformed for next season if construction started by Aug.1, according to Peter Kirk, ODP’s chairman.
Brooks Robinson, the Hall of Famer who starred for the Baltimore Orioles, also is an ODP principal. In the release, he says “We have been closely following the debate over returning minor-league baseball to Richmond and would very much like to see baseball return as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”