Thursday night marked the end of an era for the Potomac Nationals minor league baseball team, which has called Prince William County, Virginia, home for 35 years.
The team played its last regular season game at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge.
“There have been so many generational memories that have happened here,” said Bryan Holland, the team’s general manager.
Holland said the team understands it will be hard for the many fans who have made Potomac Nationals’ games a family tradition since the team first came to town.
“We’re certainly sympathetic in thinking about the fans that are losing their hometown club,” Holland said.
Even with a 5-1 win against Myrtle Beach, this game was bittersweet.
“It won’t be a Prince William County team anymore. It’s Fredericksburg. So even though the organization was here, it’s now in the hands of some new fans,” said longtime fan Steve Jones, of Lake Ridge.
Final out at The Pfitz pic.twitter.com/opUD37LLOi
— Noah Frank (@NoahFrankWTOP) August 30, 2019
The team had been working to find a new home for years, as the Woodbridge stadium doesn’t meet the size requirements for Minor League Baseball. There was the option to build a new stadium in Prince William County, but that never came to fruition.
“We weren’t able to make the numbers work, and politically it just wasn’t in the cards,” Holland said.
Jones said he doesn’t blame the team, but county leaders for not keeping the team in town.
“We, the fans, are actually on the short end of it … It’s our loss,” Jones said.
Holland said he realizes this move will be hard on many fans, leaving many unable or unwilling to make the trek south to support the team.
“We hope we can retain a good number,” Holland said.
The team’s new state-of-the-art stadium will be in the Celebrate Virginia development, off Interstate 95, in Fredericksburg.
Steve Dameron, a fan from Springfield, said fighting the traffic on I-95 will keep him from going to most games.
“We’ll probably go down for one or two a year, but probably not more than that,” Dameron said.
There is a chance Thursday wasn’t the team’s last game in Woodbridge, with postseason play still on the table for the Potomac Nationals.
WTOP’s Noah Frank contributed to this report.