The Prince William Board of Supervisors is looking toward a future for G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium without the Potomac Nationals.
The supervisors on Tuesday directed county staff to issue a public request for information for ideas on what could call the stadium home now that the P-Nats have signed a letter of intent to move the team to Fredericksburg for the 2020 season. A request for information, also called an RFI, is an invitation for private entities -- in this case, likely other baseball teams -- to provide information about their interest in using the stadium.
The county has already heard from an independent league baseball team that is interested in Prince William, but the RFI would officially seek notions of what could come to Pfitzner, whether it be a baseball team or another kind of sports franchise.
An independent league team is similar to a Minor-League team but is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The P-Nats are an affiliate of the Washington Nationals.
Board Chairman Corey Stewart, who called for the RFI, said it’s most likely that a baseball team would want to come to the county because there’s an established market for the sport here.
“Some people are loyal to the team, but a lot of people are just looking for some local professional sports event that they can attend with their families,” said Stewart, R-At Large. “So that market will continue to exist, and we’re going to need to fill that, you know, once the Potomac Nationals leave.”
Stewart has been one of the P-Nats’ biggest backers, but he said the county has to prepare for a future without them if the team’s proposed move to Fredericksburg is finalized.
“Obviously, we’re sad to see them leave, but we have to move on,” he said of the P-Nats.
The supervisors also asked staff to issue a separate RFI for a sportsplex to be located on the eastern end of the county.
That would be an indoor sports complex that would be probably at least 150,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet and could include an indoor track, indoor soccer fields and a pool.
“It would be giant because we have a huge community here,” Stewart said.
The sportsplex would allow people to be active for 12 months of the year as opposed to outdoor facilities that can’t be used when the weather is bad, he said.
The county is also expecting an unsolicited proposal for a sportsplex in Innovation Park that would serve Prince William’s western end, Parks & Recreation Department Director Seth Hendler-Voss said.
The United States Tennis Association’s Mid-Atlantic Section is building its new headquarters in Innovation and is interested in working with a partner to bring a complementary project next door, Hendler-Voss said.
“That’s how that whole thing started,” he said. “It wasn’t initiated by us.”
The RFIs, on the other hand, will be publicly advertised through various media channels, Hendler-Voss said.
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