- Joseph Oakes
The Diamond – Richmond Flying Squirrels
Photos by Joseph Oakes, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
The Diamond 3001 N Blvd Richmond, VA 23230
Richmond Flying Squirrels website
Year Opened: 1985
Welcome to “Funnville”
When the Richmond Braves left Richmond for Gwinnett in 2008, the city was left without a team for the first time since 1965. The baseball hiatus in the capital was thankfully short-lived however, because in 2009 it was announced that the Double-A Connecticut Defenders would relocate to Richmond in 2010.
The Richmond Flying Squirrels began playing at the Diamond in 2010 with the promise that a new ballpark would be built. However, eight years later, the Squirrels are still playing in the Diamond.
Food & Beverage 3
Concessions at The Diamond are standard ballpark food. Items range from hot dogs ($2.50), to cheeseburgers ($6.75), to BBQ sandwiches ($6.50), to chicken tenders ($6.50). All of these can be made into a meal which includes a small fry and 20 oz. Pepsi product for $5 more. Traditional ballpark favorites such as nachos, soft pretzels, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks are also available.
A couple fan favorites are the MacBrisket Bowl ($8) and the Buffalo Drum Sticks ($8). Bottled Pepsi products are available for $4. Also available are coffee and hot chocolate ($2). Domestic beer prices range from $6.50 to $11, while craft beer prices range from $7.50 to $12.50.
The Diamond is a huge chunk on concrete that resembles a cut-out of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The stadium was built in 1985 and its age definitely shows, and it is a stadium whose time has passed. However, when the Flying Squirrels moved into the stadium in 2010, all 3,200 seats in the lower bowl were replaced. The lower bowl is definitely the best place to sit as it is intimate and close to the action.
The Squirrels have done a good job upgrading the ballpark experience through a new identity called “Funnville.” The Squirrels call it Funnville, because one “n” isn’t enough to cover the amount of fun available at The Diamond. The Squirrels feature two mascots, Funnville characters Nutzy and Nutasha, two flying squirrels that are always available to greet kids and take pictures.
There is not much to do right around The Diamond. Across the street from the stadium is the Greyhound Bus Station, and on either side of the ballpark is the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center and Sports Backers Stadium, home of the VCU soccer team.
There is really nowhere to eat within walking distance. Your best bet is to drive toward downtown on N Boulevard. Along N Boulevard, you will find several restaurants including Buz and Ned’s BBQ, En Su Boca, Growlers to Go, among others.
If you are looking for more food choices, head approximately two miles south to Carytown. There is also a movie theater nearby, Bowtie Cinemas, which is housed in an old manufacturing warehouse. Also nearby is the Washington Redskins Training Center, the Virginia Science Museum, and the Virginia History Museum.
Despite not being rewarded with a new stadium, baseball fans across Richmond show up in force to see the Flying Squirrels. In 2018, the Flying Squirrels lead the Eastern League in attendance at 6,198 fans per game and were second in all of Double A. Despite these large crowds, The Diamond rarely feels full due to its 9,500 seat capacity.
The Diamond is located just off of Interstates 95 and 64 near downtown Richmond, and is easy to get to from wherever you may be traveling from, including Richmond International Airport.
There is plenty of parking around the Diamond for $5. Tickets can be bought at the ticket window near the main entrance, with both cash and card accepted, or online in advance.
The concourse is small and can get cramped when there are big crowds. Restrooms are located on the first and third base lines and have diaper changing stations. There is an elevator near the main entrance for the handicapped, and a large handicapped seating area on the concourse level directly behind home plate.
Return on Investment 4
All lower level seats at The Diamond are $14 on game day and $12 in advance. Terrace level seats in the lower part of the upper deck are $12 on game day and $10 in advance, while general admission seats are $8 in advance and $9 on game day. These prices are about on par with other minor league parks.
Parking is only $5.
One extra point for the free game program, and one extra point for the friendly mascots Nutzy and Nutasha who make their way around the ballpark to take pictures with kids and families.
While the Diamond shows its age and needs to be replaced, the Flying Squirrels management have done a good job of making the huge chuck of concrete a lot more welcoming through their promotions and “Funnville” initiative. Hopefully, the city of Richmond will keep their word and work with the Flying Squirrels to build a new ballpark. There are rumors that the Flying Squirrels will not stay at the Diamond forever, and it would be a shame for Richmond to lose a team a second time. The 6,000 + fans that fill The Diamond each game are a testament to that.