Fredericksburg Stadium (copy)

A rendering depicts the city’s 5,000-seat stadium that will host baseball games and other events.

Ground hasn’t even been broken for the $35 million multi-use stadium in Fredericksburg, but the Potomac Nationals owners will begin selling memberships to the Founders Club season ticket program during an opening event Dec. 1.

People can begin lining up in Market Square behind the Fredericksburg Area Museum, 907 Princess Anne St. at 11 a.m., and will be let into the museum to fill out registration forms beginning at noon. Registration will continue until 2 p.m.

Founders Club members get priority in reserving seats for full-season tickets to the team’s first season at the stadium, which is expected to be ready by April 1, 2020. After the opening event, registration will be available Dec. 2–31 by calling 703/590-2311, emailing fxbgfoundersclub@potomacnationals.com, or by visiting fredericksburgbaseball.com.

Founders Club members will have their names engraved on a Founders Club plaque that will be displayed at the stadium entrance, receive an exclusive Founders Club gift and a VIP invitation to exclusive stadium events, including the ribbon cutting.

Founders Club membership is a three-year commitment, and locks in ticket prices for that time period. Pricing will be available by early 2019.

Potomac Nationals will play at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge for the 2019 season. Season tickets at the Woodbridge stadium range from $695 for a seat in the grandstand to $1,050 for a Field Box seat. A reserved seat is $910 and a box seat is $980.

Founders Club members will pay a deposit of $100 per seat upon groundbreaking for the stadium in Celebrate Virginia South, which is expected to take place early next year. A 50 percent deposit for the cost of the season ticket package will be taken upon seat selection, which will likely happen in May or June. The remainder of the cost will be due Jan. 1, 2020.

Founders Club memberships will be available only through the end of December.

City Council unanimously approved the development and shared use agreement with Potomac Baseball, LLC for the stadium at its meeting Tuesday. Art Silber and his family, who own the Potomac Nationals and Potomac Baseball LLC, will finance the stadium, and the city will be considered an “anchor tenant” in exchange for an annual payment to the club of $1.05 million for 30 years. The city plans to cover its commitment through proceeds generated by the stadium.

The agreement gives the city exclusive use of the stadium for up to 183 days each calendar year for such things as high school, college and amateur athletics, as well as concerts and other major events. In addition, City Council approved an agreement negotiated with the Celebrate Virginia South’s owners association for a $105,000 annual payment to the city for 30 years in exchange for marketing exposure at the stadium and throughout the city.

Art Silber said that the team will change its name from Potomac Nationals to one that includes Fredericksburg and possibly Nationals since this is “overwhelmingly a Washington Nationals town.” The quandary is figuring out a new mascot that kids will find cute, but won’t embarrass adults. The P–Nats’ mascot is Uncle Slam, a baseball riff on Uncle Sam.

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Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407

cjett@freelancestar.com

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