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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium – Potomac Nationals


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29

Richard Pfitzner Stadium 7 County Complex Ct Woodbridge, VA 22192


Year Opened: 1984

Capacity: 6,000

 

Last Call at the Pfitz

The Potomac Nationals have called Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia home ever since the team relocated from nearby Alexandria in 1984. The team has been known by several nicknames over the years, including the Prince William Pirates, Prince William Yankees, and Prince William Cannons. In 1999, the team changed their name again to the Potomac Cannons, to be more inclusive of the broad region. Six years later, the club changed affiliations to the newly relocated Washington Nationals, and changed their name yet again to recognize the parent club.

Pfitzner Stadium is widely recognized as one of the worst stadiums in Minor League Baseball. In fact, it has not been up to the required standards for some time, and only still exists because the team has been granted several waivers. However, it is finally closing for good after the 2019 season, as the team will move down I-95 to Fredericksburg.

Food & Beverage 3

There is a decent selection of food and beverage available at the main stand at Pfitzner Stadium, located in the center of the concourse. Options for main courses include hot dogs ($4, or $5 for a large), hamburgers ($5) and cheeseburgers ($5.50), all of which can come in a basket with french fries for $2.50 extra. Other options include chicken tenders and fries for $9.50 and nachos with chili and cheese for $6. Side dishes include fries, hot pretzels, peanuts, and funnel cakes, and Pepsi beverages are also available. If this is not enough for you, Logan’s Sausage Stand is located down the third baseline, and there is a grill down the first baseline that sells freshly made burgers, cheesesteaks, and other items, though expect to pay more than you would at the other stands. For those looking for dessert, Hershey’s ice cream and Dippin Dots are available as well.

All stands take credit cards, though the readers are a bit finicky and may not work all the time.

Atmosphere 1

There was a time not so long ago when a Potomac Nationals game had a great atmosphere and the whole family could enjoy a fun night out with the P-Nats and their beloved mascot, Uncle Slam. In theory, Uncle Slam is still the mascot, but he was not there when we went. There are fewer things going on between innings than there were before, and the club just does not seem to put on the same effort it used to. The PA system is on its last legs and can be incomprehensible at times, even when the announcer doesn’t pronounce random words and names completely wrong. At one point he pronounced prostate with a long O, and at another he gave the warning signs of stroke as “Space, Arms, Feech, Time.”

Not only that, but the stadium itself is antiquated and uncomfortable. Other than the new field box seats they added a few years ago, every seat in here is a tight fit, and there are only a few rows of conventional chair backs, both the field boxes and more antiquated literal box seats closer to home plate. Everything else is bleachers, either with or without backs.

Not only that, but Pfitzner Stadium has one of the worst sun angles in all of minor league baseball. Rather than setting behind the press box, it sets in left field, making the glare extremely difficult for the first few innings. This also means that none of the seating area is in the shade during the daytime, which can be brutal during the summer.


Pfitzner Stadium Into the Sun, Photo by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


The good news is that the team is moving into a state of the art stadium in Fredericksburg next year, and that cannot happen soon enough.

Neighborhood 3

Pfitzner Stadium is located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Although Woodbridge has a bad reputation among locals and is often referred to as “Hoodbridge,” this part of the area is perfectly safe. Unfortunately, that’s about as nice as you can say about it. The stadium itself is located in a county owned complex which also includes several recreational fields and some government offices. It is not uncommon to see a large number of police cars parked in the parking lot – this should be no cause for alarm.

There are a few shopping centers located off Prince William Parkway near the stadium, some of which have places to eat, but none of them are anything special. Woodbridge is about a 45-minute drive from Washington, D.C., which is a tremendous city, but it’s a bit far away for someone only visiting for the day.

Fans 2

Attendance has gone down significantly in this lame duck season for the P-Nats. What was once a lively crowd has now turned into a smaller, more persnickety bunch. At times it can be dead silent, and at other times the crowd seems to completely turn on their team. The loudest it got in the stadium all night was when they tossed free burritos into the crowd, but even that proved to be full of disappointment – the wrappers contained not hot and delicious burritos, but coupons to a local chain to redeem later. Of course, by the time the game ended, said chain was closed for the night, which would be very unfortunate for anyone not from the area who would be unable to redeem them.

Access 2

Pfitzner Stadium is located just off Prince William Parkway, but is about six miles from I-95 depending on which way you go. Most minor league stadiums seem to be more easily accessible from highways and do not require this much driving on local roads. Parking at the stadium is $6, which is extremely pricey when you consider you can park at a major league stadium up I-95 in Baltimore for $8. The good news is that with the small crowds, you should not have trouble finding a place to park.

Although the concourse is old and narrow, this should not be an issue given the size of the crowds. The bathrooms are sufficient for the small crowds, but are in dilapidated condition. The men’s room had cracks in the floor as well as several pools of water. (At least, one hopes it was water.) Additionally, the toilets and sinks are frequently out of order.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets start at $12 for general admission seats, and also include $14 reserved seats, above the concourse inside the dugouts, $15 box seats, and $17 box seats. The box and field box seats come with waiter service, which is an impressive feature normally reserved for premium seating areas. A server will come by periodically to take orders and will bring them to you while you watch the game. That being said, these tickets are still on the higher end for Carolina League venues, and parking is ridiculously expensive as well. Thankfully, the concessions are reasonably priced, and the waiter service adds value to the more expensive seats.

Extras 2

There is a free program available on entry to the stadium. The wait service in the box seats deserves special recognition as well, as it is an impressive benefit.

Final Thoughts

Pfitzner Stadium is closing down for good at the end of 2019, and it could not happen a moment too soon. Sadly, it seems that in this lame duck season, people have just stopped caring. Whether it’s concession stand workers forgetting the credit card readers, scoreboard operators falling asleep at the wheel, or fans simply not showing up, it is a shame what the Pfitz has turned into. Make no mistake, it was never a nice stadium. But it has gone severely downhill recently, and the new stadium in Fredericksburg will be welcomed with open arms.

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