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The Diamond Ballpark

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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. It replaced the demolished Parker Field, 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 (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. 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. The Diamond is owned by the Richmond Metropolitan Authority, which currently leases the facility to VCU.


The new team announced on October 2 that they were going to spend $1.5 million on renovations to the ballpark and the RMA gave an additional $75,000 for upgrades. 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. For 2011, the scoreboard was enhanced and two new party decks were built in the upper level.


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