Braves leaving town


photos by Phillip Ranallo

Emily Smith and Phillip Ranallo

After an announcement in January that the Richmond Braves will move to Gwinnett County, Georgia, many are wondering what this means for the city and for VCU.

The Diamond has been home to the Braves for 41 years, and many will be sad to see the team go.

The Braves’ public relations manager John Emmett, says the move will be both pleasant and painful.

“It’s kind-of a bittersweet thing, we wanted to stay here,” said Emmett. “It was unfortunate that we couldn’t work it out.”

Emmett knows the move will hurt some in Richmond.

“There will be some impact particularly on some of the non-profit groups who work with us,” said Emmett. A lot of people partner with us as fundraisers for various charities and organizations…and those people are going to be materially hurt.”

The news is not all bad though, as the stadium will still see more home-runs after the Braves leave. The VCU Rams will continue to pursue victory at the Diamond.

Assistant coach for the VCU baseball team, Shawn Stiffler, says the Braves move will not have much of an impact on VCU baseball.

“For the most part for us it is business as usual,” said Stiffler. “We are focusing on our season coming up and we hate to see the Braves leave…but we are very excited about baseball in Richmond.”

Emmett thinks the move may benefit VCU’S baseball team in the future.

“Down the road, it may in some ways be a bit of a boost for their baseball team, and it may give them a chance to get in their own facility,” said Emmett.

For now, anticipation is in the air at the Diamond for the Braves final season in Richmond and an ongoing relationship with VCU.

See how our readers feel about the Braves leaving town.

Click play below to view the video on this story.


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