Potomac Nationals talk future in Northern Virginia

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg made a rehab start for the Class-A Potomac Nationals in 2011. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg made a rehab start for the Class-A Potomac Nationals in 2011. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Bryce Harper appeared in four games with Potomac Nationals in 2013 and 2014 while rehabbing from an injury. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Bryce Harper appeared in four games with Potomac Nationals in 2013 and 2014 while rehabbing from an injury. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, delivers a pitch for the Class-A Potomac Nationals, during  a rehab start in 2011. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, delivers a pitch for the Class-A Potomac Nationals, during a rehab start in 2011. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Nationals' third baseman Anthony Rendon, seen here in 2017, played 9 games with the Potomac Nationals while coming up through the minors in 2012. He hit .333/.438/.630 during his brief stint in the Carolina League. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Nationals’ third baseman Anthony Rendon, seen here in 2017, played 9 games with the Potomac Nationals while coming up through the minors in 2012. He hit .333/.438/.630 during his brief stint in the Carolina League. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

2014 Rendering of new ballpark, the deal for the new ballpark fell apart in July 2017. (Courtesy of Potomac Nationals)
2014 Rendering of new ballpark, Potomac Nationals owner official withdrew the deal from consideration from the Prince William Board of County Supervisors in July 2017. (Courtesy of Potomac Nationals)

bryce_running_woodbridge_mba.jpg
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper arrives on the field in Woodbridge for a minor league game in 2014. He made his first rehabilitation assignment for the single-A Potomac Nationals. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

bryce_girl_mba375.jpg
A young fan holds up a sign saying she has no doubt Bryce Harper will return to the Nats. The outfielder made his first rehabilitation assignment Tuesday night for the single-A team Potomac Nationals.

potomac nationals stadium rendering (WTOP/Kristi King)
Longtime Potomac Nationals fan Jonathan Pick of Woodbridge looks at what the stadium would have looked like.

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Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg made a rehab start for the Class-A Potomac Nationals in 2011. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Bryce Harper appeared in four games with Potomac Nationals in 2013 and 2014 while rehabbing from an injury. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, delivers a pitch for the Class-A Potomac Nationals, during  a rehab start in 2011. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Nationals' third baseman Anthony Rendon, seen here in 2017, played 9 games with the Potomac Nationals while coming up through the minors in 2012. He hit .333/.438/.630 during his brief stint in the Carolina League. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
2014 Rendering of new ballpark, the deal for the new ballpark fell apart in July 2017. (Courtesy of Potomac Nationals)
bryce_running_woodbridge_mba.jpg
bryce_girl_mba375.jpg
potomac nationals stadium rendering (WTOP/Kristi King)

ARLINGTON, Va. — Potomac Nationals owner Art Silber says he’s already gotten several calls from local governments and developers about a new stadium for his team in Northern Virginia.

“We’ve been contacted by — and I’m not going to specifically identify who or where — by a number of different government entities,” Silber told WTOP.

The team owner wouldn’t offer any hints about where that interest is coming from, however there are a few places that have already been ruled out.

Silber says it is very unlikely that a new stadium would be built in Prince William County, noting that trying to work with the county on a different project would be difficult and there aren’t many appealing sites within the county for him.

He also noted that Maryland is extremely unlikely because of the number and proximity of minor league baseball stadiums already in the state.

There is also a possibility that the team could leave the region all together.

If it were to do that, it would need to stay within the Carolina League area.

“We could go to North Carolina, we could go to South Carolina, there are parts of Pennsylvania we could go to,” Silber explained.

Silber says his preference is to stay in Northern Virginia and that he’d sell the team if it were to move.

The Washington Business Journal reported Friday that Alexandria may have some interest in wooing the team back to the city, its previous home before moving to Prince William County in the 1980s.

Other areas with a history of talking to baseball teams could also be interested.

Arlington County was a possible home for the then-Montreal Expos before they settled on the District at the start of the 2005 season.

There have been ongoing efforts to bring a minor league team to Loudoun County’s One Loudoun development that would play in the independent Atlantic League — which also features Waldorf’s Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania could make a play for the Nationals after a deal to bring the Hagerstown Suns to the region fell through, leading the Suns to sign a two-year lease extension with Hagerstown.

Unlike the Suns, the Nationals are facing a deadline.

They must be out of Pfitzner Stadium by the end of 2018 because it doesn’t meet Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball standards.

“We’re going to take the time to explore them and to see if there is something that could be a real possibility,” stated Silber.


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