At a recent meeting to discuss construction of a new stadium for the Fredericksburg Nationals, club owners and contractor L.F. Jennings delved into door hinges.
That the ballpark project has moved on to planning such minutiae is a good sign for baseball fans, said team General Manager Nick Hall.
L.F. Jennings, a Falls Church-based contractor, remains on track to finish the stadium by April 23, Hall said. The project, originally pegged at $35 million, has slightly exceeded that budget and will ultimately cost $37 million to $38 million to complete, he said.
While the future 5,000-seat multipurpose stadium, located adjacent to the Fredericksburg Expo Center, is still skeletal, visible progress has been made in the past few months. The concrete seat bowl is nearly complete, with the last couple of rows to be poured this week, Hall said.
From there, construction will shift to finishings, such as railings. The playing surface, consisting of synthetic turf with a traditional dirt infield, will be installed shortly thereafter.
“They’re plugging along,” Hall said. “It’s really starting to take form.”
The Silber family that owns the team is building the stadium to facilitate the move from Woodbridge. To ensure the project remains on track, they have consulted with Peter Kirk, a longtime minor-league baseball executive with extensive stadium experience.
Kirk is “our eyes and ears out at the site,” Hall said. “He knows certain questions to ask that we wouldn’t think about asking.”
One question: What will Fredericksburg residents call their ballpark? Nothing has been settled on that front, at least not publicly.
“We’re looking for a sitting naming-rights partner,” Hall said. “That’s something we’re very interested in pursuing.”
In what can best be described as charitable scheduling, the Washington Nationals’ Advanced-A affiliate will open its season with 14 straight road games before hosting Frederick on April 23.