You can take it to the bank, uh…credit union: FredNats Ballpark has a new name.
On Saturday afternoon, the Fredericksburg minor league baseball team announced a 10-year naming rights deal for its field, which will be known as Virginia Credit Union Stadium.
FredNats general manager Nick Hall unveiled the new name, along with signage renderings that will adorn the stadium’s main entrance, jumbotron, home plate and infield in front of the two dugouts. The credit union’s name will also appear on a sign visible from Interstate 95.
“Whenever you talk about the FredNats, you’re going to talk about Virginia Credit Union Stadium,” said Phil Marine, VACU’s vice president of marketing.
Marine also noted that the venue’s new name reflects its ability to host a variety of events beyond the FredNats’ annual 66 home games.
“It’s wider than baseball, and that’s why it’s a stadium versus, say, a park or field,” Marine said. “They’re going to do gigs and bring the community here.”
People also read…
The partnership had been in the making for at least two years. A third party, Oak View Group, consulted with the team in their search for an ideal naming rights partner. Discussions between the FredNats and VACU intensified when minor league play resumed last season after a COVID-related hiatus in 2020.
“It was their commitment to the region,” Hall said. “It wasn’t a marketing conversation, it wasn’t a baseball conversation. It was: ‘How can we get involved in the community?’ It drew us to them in a very big way.
They have already teamed up in a “Strike-out Hunger” initiative. For every strikeout recorded during the 2022 season, Virginia Credit Union and the FredNats will make matching donations to the Fredericksburg Food Bank.
John Wulf, assistant director of player development who represented the Washington Nationals during Saturday’s announcement, joked that coaches in Florida are working on rotation rates and curveballs to help maximize charitable impact. .
Both parties declined to disclose financial terms of the deal, which they say has been in place for 10 years.
Speakers also included Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw and Major League Baseball regional representative Robbie Glenn. The league and its players’ union broke off talks last week, and the first two series of the MLB season have already been called off.
“Despite the impact of the work stoppage on Major League Baseball’s season, Minor League Baseball has a full season ahead of it, unaffected by the current situation,” Glenn told The Free Lance-Star, reading a folded sheet of paper.
Saturday’s announcement coincided with an event for FredNats season ticket holders. Fans moved through the lobby, while the kids (not to mention a few who can only be described as young at heart) practiced batting on a pitching machine and firing balls into the outfield .
The new signage will be in place in time for the FredNats home opener on April 12 at Virginia Credit Union Stadium.
“Having baseball stadium naming rights brings a level of validity to the stadium,” Hall said. “I think it’s going to become a landmark in Fredericksburg.”
Joey Lo Monaco: 540/368-5045