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Potomac Nationals field to get facelift after dispute with Nats

Monday - 8/1/2011, 4:41am  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASINGTON - Pfitzner Stadium in Prince William County will get a makeover, but the dispute that led to its makeover is far from over.

The debate centers on the quality of the outfield at Pfitzner Stadium, home of the Carolina League Potomac Nationals.

The Washington Nationals have complained about the inferior quality of the outfield where the team's Class A franchise plays.

Prince William County just allocated $400,000 to redo the outfield after the parent club indicated it would not send top prospects there for "safety" reasons.

"I have to believe that's just baloney," says Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Cory Stewart.

"I don't think the Washington Nationals, frankly, enjoy having a successful minor league team inside their market, and I think they are simply trying to use field conditions as an excuse."

Major League Baseball signed the affiliate agreement between the Nationals and the Potomac franchise after the Nats moved to D.C. from Montreal and before the Lerner family took over the parent club. The P-Nats are independently owned but the Nationals organization supplies the players.

The owner of the Potomac Nationals, Art Silber, has been trying to finance a new minor league stadium with private money for years but has been unable to get things going.

The county has worked with Silber on an undisclosed site off of Interstate 95, and Stewart says he still thinks the new stadium will be built.

The Washington Nationals did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)