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It’s Baseball Time - PWC signs letter of intent to pave way for new stadium

Prince William Board of County Supervisors has agreed to enter into a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with Art Silber, owner of the Potomac Nationals, and The JBG Companies, owner and developer of Potomac Town Center. The LOI provides the framework for a potential deal that would secure the location of the Minor League Baseball franchise in Woodbridge, VA.

“There are a lot of details to iron out still,” said Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors. “However, this assures the commitment from all parties to continue in our good faith negotiations to find a way to keep the Potomac Nationals here in Prince William County.”

The plan outlined in the LOI calls for the County to build a new 6,000-7,000 seat baseball stadium and a 1,400 space commuter parking garage that will be available for use by the Potomac Nationals during non-commuting hours on evenings and weekends.

Cost of the commuter parking garage is still to be determined. Prince William County will undertake and pay for a conceptual design study to estimate the cost of the garage and amenities, which include bus passenger shelters, bus lanes and carpool staging areas. The majority of the funding for construction, up to $26 million, is anticipated to come from VDOT.

JBG will enter into a long-term ground lease for up to 70 years with Prince William County or the Commonwealth of Virginia for a nominal compensation of $1/year. Prince William County will contract with a third party to operate, manage and maintain the facility. The construction of the garage is not dependent upon the stadium being constructed. However, the stadium requires a parking garage to remain viable at the proposed site.

Cost for the stadium and site improvements are still to be determined, but is estimated at $35 million ($31 million for stadium construction and $4 million for site improvements). In addition, Prince William County will pay JBG up to $7 million in up-front costs for pad site preparation for the parking garage and stadium.

If preparation costs are estimated to exceed $7 million, Prince William County has the right to withdraw from the project or fund the additional cost.

Prince William County will enter into a 30-year ground lease with JBG for the stadium site at a cost of $450,000 per year with 10 percent escalations every five years. The County has six, five-year renewal options following the 30-year lease at a cost of 15 percent rent increase per five-year period.

Potomac Nationals will lease the stadium from Prince William County for the initial 30 years at a cost to cover the debt service and ground rent.

Potomac Nationals will operate the stadium and shall be responsible for maintenance, utilities and cleaning costs. Additionally, Potomac Nationals shall maintain a capital improvement/repair and maintenance fund for the stadium. The Potomac Nationals will hire a senior executive to oversee these operational duties.

Prince William County has the right to use the stadium for up to 183 days per year as approved and scheduled by Potomac Nationals. Prince William County agrees to pay Potomac Nationals for scheduled use of the facility at a rate to be determined.

With the signing of the non-binding LOI, Prince William County will now undertake and pay for the cost of a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) to determine traffic impacts of the commuter parking facility and stadium. Prince William County will pay the costs for any off-site road improvements required by the TIA. If the costs for such improvements exceeds what Prince William County considers reasonable, they are not obligated to proceed with the project. JBG will provide 25 percent of the costs for off-site transportation improvements, up to a maximum contribution of $250,000.

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