The Richmond Flying Squirrels are in the process of adding a $250,000 videoboard to The Diamond. It will be attached to the current scoreboard structure and will be ready for the 2019 season.
The Diamond has been without a modern videoboard since it opened for the 1985 season. The line-score portion of the current scoreboard will remain in place. Since the Flying Squirrels came to Richmond for the 2010 season, they have annually tried to make at least one major upgrade at The Diamond.
“We’ve been committed since we’ve been there to bettering the experience for our fans every year,” Lou DiBella, the team’s president and managing general partner, said Tuesday. “While I’m optimistic about moving toward a new ballpark in the future, it’s clear that we’re going to be [at The Diamond] for several more years, but I’m not going to discontinue the path that we established.”
The 2019 Eastern League All-Star game will be played at The Diamond in July.
DiBella said his management team of Chuck Domino (chief executive) and Todd Parnell (vice president/COO) recommended the addition of a videoboard as the best improvement possible at The Diamond this offseason.
According to Domino, there will be two wireless cameras circulating around the ballpark, and those feeds will be among the video shown on the board. There has been a rudimentary video component to the scoreboard at The Diamond, but it mostly could display only still images, such as head shots of players, or logos. Clarity was lacking.
"The video board will also give us the ability to display short clips from comedic movie scenes, iconic cartoons and funny TV skits that can be integrated into the various occurrences that happen during game action,” said Domino.
Domino added that the old videoboard was 200 square feet and the new one will be 600 square feet of high-resolution images and video. The board structure will be topped by a new squirrel.
“We’re continuing to invest in The Diamond because we’re continuing to invest in our fans and in the best experience for people that come into the ballpark to watch the Squirrels play,” said DiBella. “We’ve been consistent about that all along.
“But we do need to get something done [in terms of a new stadium] at some point soon, and there is progress. We would not incur that kind of expense without the belief that [the videoboard] could have a life beyond The Diamond.”