FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The Fredericksburg Nationals, Single-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, were gearing up for Opening Day in a new home on April 23. But before the Minor League Baseball season began, the coronavirus pandemic changed everything.
After moving from Prince William County, the newly named Fredericksburg Nationals, or FredNats for short, are constructing a ballpark next to the Fredericksburg Expo Center.
While not fully completed, the field at the ballpark was ready for April 23 and could host baseball immediately.
“We’re baseball ready,” said Executive VP and General Manager Nick Hall. “If we got the call tomorrow, we’d have the guys out here in a heartbeat.”
On paper, the FredNats inaugural season wasn’t supposed to go this way. Their construction timeline was adjusted because of COVID-19 but whether they first play in this year or next, the organization can’t wait to play in front of fans.
“We did not make a move to Fredericksburg to have a great 2020. We moved to Fredericksburg to have a great next 20 years,” said Hall. “The first year is going to be the first year we play baseball. If that means it’s 2021, what we can tell you right now is that we’re going to put on an amazing first year for the people.”
The ballpark will also double as an event space for Fredericksburg, hosting concerts and other events. Hall is confident that the community, from Fredericksburg to neighboring counties, will get to enjoy things soon enough.
“We’re really making a hard push to be able to host events inside the stadium,” said Hall. “So we’ll be definitely hosting events in 2020, no doubt about it.”