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The Diamond is a baseball stadium located in Richmond, Virginia, USA, on Boulevard. It is the home of Richmond Flying Squirrels of the Eastern League and the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team. From 1985 to 2008, it was the home of the Richmond Braves, the Triple-A minor league baseball affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. The Diamond seats 12,134 people for baseball; however, for Flying Squirrels games, advertising banners cover up the top rows of the upper deck, reducing seating capacity to 9,560.

The Diamond
Diamond Ballpark
Diamond Richmond.PNG
The Diamond, home of the Richmond Braves.jpg
Location3001 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23230
Coordinates37°34′18.50″N 77°27′49.44″W / 37.5718056°N 77.4637333°W / 37.5718056; -77.4637333Coordinates: 37°34′18.50″N 77°27′49.44″W / 37.5718056°N 77.4637333°W / 37.5718056; -77.4637333
OwnerCity of Richmond[1]
OperatorCity of Richmond
Capacity12,134 (VCU Rams)
9,560 (Flying Squirrels)[2]
Field sizeLeft field—330 feet (100 m)
Center field—402 feet (123 m)
Right field—330 feet (100 m)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke groundSeptember 1984
OpenedApril 17, 1985[5]
Construction cost$8 million
($18.6 million in 2018 dollars[3])
ArchitectBaskervill & Sons, Architects[4]
Structural engineerThomas A. Hanson & Associates, Inc.[4]
General contractorMcDevitt & Street[4]
Tenants
Richmond Flying Squirrels (EL) 2010–present
VCU Rams (A-10) 1985–present
CAA Tournament 1987–1988
Richmond Braves (IL) 1985–2008

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Diamond replaced the demolished Parker Field,[6] which had been built in 1934, as part of the fair grounds. Parker Field had been converted for baseball in 1954, replacing Mooers Field. Parker Field housed the Braves from 1966 to 1984.

In 2003, part of The Diamond's roof was destroyed by Hurricane Isabel, and in 2004 a piece of a concrete beam the size of a football fell on the stands below, though no fans were injured.

The Richmond Braves relocated to Gwinnett County, Georgia after the 2008 season. One factor in the franchise's decision to relocate was reportedly a failure to reach an agreement on building a new ballpark in Richmond. There was plan by a development group called the Richmond Baseball Initiative to build a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom near Main Street Station.[7] But in August 2009 the company that submitted this ballpark plan withdrew it. Under the plan, the Richmond Braves would have moved to the new stadium while the Diamond would become the sole home to Virginia Commonwealth University athletics. VCU Baseball previously shared the facility with the Braves for home games.

 
Outfield and scoreboard

The new team announced on October 2, 2009 that they were going to spend $1.5 million on renovations to the ballpark and the RMA gave an additional $75,000 for upgrades.[8] On October 28, 2009, the Richmond Flying Squirrels started renovations on the Diamond. They tore out aluminum benches and started to replace them with 3,200 dark green seats with cup holders. There are now 6,200 seats in the lower level. A new larger sized store was built for the Squirrels. Extensive gutting and remodeling of the offices and new indoor batting cages are parts of the renovation plan as well.[2] For 2011, the scoreboard was enhanced and two new party decks were built in the upper level.[9]

Ownership of The Diamond was transferred from the Richmond Metropolitan Authority to the city of Richmond in 2014.[1]

Other eventsEdit

The venue hosted the 1987 and 1988 Colonial Athletic Association Baseball Tournaments, won by East Carolina and George Mason, respectively.[10]

The ballpark hosted the 1992 Triple-A All-Star Game. The team of American League-affiliated All-Stars defeated the team of National League-affiliated All-Stars, 2–1.[11]

The Diamond also hosted the 2019 Eastern League All-Star Game before 9,560 fans, the largest crowd in the game's history.[12]

The ballpark is also home to Virginia Commonwealth University's Rams baseball team. VCU hosts Atlantic 10 and regional teams at the Diamond.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Martz, Michael; Moomaw, Graham (June 7, 2015). "Richmond Squirrels look to secure spot at The Diamond". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved July 21, 2019 – via The Roanoke Times. Last year, ... the authority returned The Diamond to the city.
  2. ^ a b O'Connor, John (March 27, 2010). "Bleacher Banners Give Diamond New Look, Fewer Seats". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "The Diamond". The Virginia Record Magazine. Richmond: Virginia Publishers Wing, Inc. 107 (4): 17. 1985.
  5. ^ Harrison, W. Daniel; Mayer, Scott P. (2003). Baseball in Richmond: A History of the Professional Game, 1884–2000. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-1489-5.
  6. ^ "RMA :: The Diamond :: Stadium Operating Committee". RMA online.org. Richmond Metropolitan Authority. Archived from the original on February 20, 2012.
  7. ^ Ress, Dave (February 2, 2008). "Braves, Richmond Failed to Connect". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  8. ^ O'Connor, John (September 30, 2009). "Upgrades at The Diamond Allow Time to Choose Major Renovation or New Ballpark". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  9. ^ O'Connor, John (September 27, 2011). "Squirrels Plan No Additional Diamond Improvements". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  10. ^ "Baseball Record Book" (PDF). Colonial Athletic Association. pp. 6–10. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 13, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  11. ^ "Triple-A All-Star Game Results (1988–1992)". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  12. ^ "Eastern League All-Star Game Draws Over 9,500 Fans". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.

External linksEdit