Party City today entered the foray to bring baseball back to Richmond, announcing a makeover to The Diamond that will hang multi-colored streamers, Christmas lights and other decorations onto the 24-year-old stadium.
“This idea is cheap, effective, and will make this old historic baseball stadium much prettier,” said Debra Boone, spokeswoman for the discount party-supply store, which has two locations in the greater Richmond area. “Of course, the color scheme of the decorations will really depend on which team comes to the city, as it does not yet have one.”
The beautification-upgrade announcement comes amid an intense ballpark debate in Richmond that pits backers of a $60 million stadium in Shockoe Bottom and those who support a $28 million plan to rebuild the Diamond on the Boulevard. Boone said the “simple, decorative makeover” to the former home of the Richmond Braves, who left the city last year, will be funded entirely by private money and will not require taxpayer dollars.
The cost is estimated at $250.
In addition to Christmas lights and streamers that will run along the park-facing overhang of The Diamond, New Jersey-based Party City is recommending hanging doorway danglers inside of “each and every” doorframe at the ballpark, as well as giving out cone-shaped party hats to the first 100 guests at each game.
Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones praised the Party City plan, saying it was “the first great idea I’ve heard” for bringing a minor-league team back to the Virginia capitol. If all goes according to plan, he said a new team could be playing in Richmond as early as Aug. 1, 8500.