|Chronological Tour: Stop 20|
The futuristic-looking Diamond, as seen from across the Boulevard, Aug-2011.
The Flying Squirrels fill the park nicely for a Thursday-night game.
The field, used since 1954 for baseball, also hosts college games. A soccer field is out beyond right field.
When I first visited The Diamond, in August 1991, I thought it was one of the greatest things going. The people of Richmond were justifiably proud.
Unfortunately, time seems to have passed this place by. While the seating layout is similar to the quite comfortable Lackawanna Stadium and it does have real grass, much of the seating here is on shaped aluminum benches. That included the lower deck until the mid-2000s, when those seats were replaced by more traditional stadium seats. Part of the upper deck still has the benches original to 1985, although several rows near the top have been removed in order to reduce the seating capacity. The metal benches are sold as general admission.
There was talk of replacing more seats and making other modifications to the park, which might restore its glory, but the R-Braves were pushing for a new downtown park. When that did not materialize, the club announced plans to move to Gwinnett Co., Ga. (northeast of Atlanta), in 2009. An Eastern League team subsequently moved here from Norwich, Conn., for the 2010 season.
Rumors have continued to swirl about building a new park to replace The Diamond, and as of late 2016 it appears these plans might finally come to fruition. After a proposal to put a park in the historic Shockoe Bottom section of town was rejected, the city and Virginia Commonwealth University, which uses The Diamond and other nearby athletic facilities, announced an agreement that would keep the Flying Squirrels in town for 30 years once a new park was built. The new park, which is still in the planning stages, would be located within several blocks of The Diamond.
|43||Sat 17-Aug-1991||International||AAA||Tidewater 9, RICHMOND 3|
|1137||Thu 4-Aug-2011||Eastern||AA||New Hampshire 4, RICHMOND 2|
|1491||Sun 21-Aug-2016||Eastern||AA||RICHMOND 6, Harrisburg 5|