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Who Should Pay for Richmond Baseball?

Interesting article by Gary Armstrong of Richmond Ballpark Initiative (Back Page, Jan. 30) about the City of Richmond losing the Richmond Braves. He writes that he was disappointed but not surprised by the decision of the Atlanta Braves to move the Richmond Braves to Gwinnett County, Ga., after the 2008 season.

What the Braves needed was a brand-new ballpark, not an "$18 million bandage ... to be affixed to the Diamond." Gary Armstrong did not mention who would pay for a brand-new ballpark. The citizens of the Richmond metro area? The owner of the next team to play in Richmond? Unlikely. Nowadays, baseball owners want their brand-new stadiums with luxury boxes paid for by the communities they play in. Until that question is answered, and there are concrete plans with concrete funding for a new ballpark, I don't expect to see professional baseball in Richmond anytime soon.

Joe Shocket

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