Manassas leaders pledge to relocate baseball league to permanent home

GMBL players, parents and coaches showed up for a public hearing at City Hall Sept. 13, 2021, holding a demonstration outside with signs saying “Save GMBL” and “This is our home.”
GMBL players, parents and coaches showed up for a public hearing at City Hall Sept. 13, 2021, holding a demonstration outside with signs saying “Save GMBL” and “This is our home.” (InsideNova/Jared Foretek)

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

The Manassas City Council will vote Monday on a resolution pledging that the city “desires” to relocate the Greater Manassas Baseball League as soon as practicable, with council members hinting that a permanent home for the baseball league is within reach.

At Thursday night’s Land Use Committee meeting, Chair Mark Wolfe and others made clear that Dean Park would not serve as that permanent home, despite a presentation Tuesday night showing conceptual designs for four potential new diamond fields and two renovated fields.

Immediately after Tuesday’s presentation, GMBL President Colby Poteat said that he liked a lot about the plans and indicated that Dean Park could serve as the new league home if Micron decides to purchase its current six-field city-owned complex for $14.7 million. At the time, league representatives wanted the city council to promise to relocate the league to Dean Park or another close-in location in Prince William County.

But on Thursday, Wolfe and others said that Dean Park was not a viable long-term solution for GMBL and hinted that the city was close to securing another location. And despite the new council resolution stopping just short of committing the city to finding a new property, Poteat said he was happy with it and what council members had shared privately about the search.

“I think a lot of good things were said up there and hopefully they just follow through with what they said,” Poteat told InsideNoVa Thursday night after the resolution cleared the committee. Poteat also said it was clear Dean Park wasn’t going to be the new site. “We are, for the most part, in the dark. We’ve heard some things, rumors like everyone else and we don’t know if they’re true or not. So hopefully once they can talk about whatever this big plan is, everyone will be happy.”

The city desires to complete this process and relocate GMBL facilities as soon as practicable, and prior to Micron completing the purchase the E.G. Smith site so that there is a seamless transition to a new facility for GMBL

In addition to the resolution about relocating GMBL, the council will also vote on the Micron purchase option. If approved, it would allow Micron to purchase the 18.12-acre property from the city at any point over the next three years without any further approval from the council. If the company does decide to go through with buying the property — which sits adjacent to its current facility — the league would still have two more years to use the property before the city turns it over.

“There have been major efforts underway in that direction [of securing a new league site] and I’m not supporting this proposal if it left the kids of GMBL without a future place to play,” Councilmember Tom Osina said Thursday. “Once the pieces have fallen into place, everyone will want to announce the new location to disperse the cloud of uncertainty. And while I cannot name the time or the place when that announcement will be made or where it will be, there’s no one … dragging their feet on this matter.”

Theresa Coates-Ellis, who last Monday said she wanted the council to promise to find a new place for GMBL before agreeing to the purchase option, said Thursday that she was confident there would be a solution.

“I feel that this is a very good resolution to move forward. I am confident that we are going to have a place for the boys and girls and families to go to participate in baseball,” Coates-Ellis said. “I know there’s a lot going on with talking to GMBL, talking with our partners that all want this to happen. It’s going to happen. I would not agree to this unless I really felt confident that this was going to happen for the benefit of GMBL.”

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

 

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