The owner of the Potomac Nationals says he has received contact from “different parts of Northern Virginia” about locations to move his team after announcing Thursday he will look at relocation or the sale of the franchise after negotiations with Prince William County over a new stadium hit an impasse.
“The press release we put out on Thursday has frankly had a response far greater than we anticipated,” Art Silber said in a phone interview on Saturday. “The [locations] that we believe make sense to explore are the ones we will look at.”
Alexandria Vice Mayor Justin Wilson told me Friday he asked city staff to look into the feasibility of bringing the team to the city, where the minor league baseball franchise played as the Alexandria Dukes from 1978 to 1983.
“We’d be delighted to talk to the city of Alexandria,” said Silber. He purchased the franchise in 1990 but said the team still has Dukes banners in its memorabilia collection. “Certainly in terms of population density and the type of community, it is an attractive location for a stadium. But I don’t know where it would be. It’s certainly something we want to explore.”
Silber is open to other potential locations, too. He said it’s his family’s preference to keep the ball club in Northern Virginia — one of the biggest markets in all of Minor League Baseball — and added that the family has no interest in owning a team based in North Carolina, South Carolina or Pennsylvania. The team, which is a Class-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, plays in the Carolina League. It counts teams in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas.