Your Views: Support a new Aces and Hoyas stadium at no cost to taxpayers


To the editor:

On Friday, June 3, at 7 p.m., the Alexandria Aces will begin their fourth season of wooden bat collegiate baseball at Frank Mann Field, behind Cora Kelly School on Commonwealth Avenue.
When I first planned to bring baseball to Alexandria in 2006, I wrote down Alexandria Aces and it just flowed. Within two short years, and after a ton of planning and hard work, the team played its inaugural season in 2008. Today, baseball fever in Alexandria has caught on, with the ball club growing in both attendance and souvenir sales each of the past three years.
While Alexandria baseball fans awakened to great family-friendly entertainment, I knew there were seat limitations at Frank Mann Field.  With only six sets of bleachers for fans, the Aces were maxed out on seats from day one. Facing a challenge, the next logical step would be to add seats to the ballpark. 
Over the years Ive had a great association with Georgetown Universitys head baseball coach, Pete Wilk, most recently when I was president of Alexandria Potomac Little League. Pete, his coaching staff, along with Hoya players, always came through for me to help teach our Little Leaguers how to play ball during APLLs annual fall clinics. 
In 2009, I told Pete of my idea to have a new baseball stadium built in Alexandria. We thought Frank Mann Field could be of use to the Hoyas program, as well as other baseball organizations in Alexandria throughout the year. 
Pete presented the idea to Georgetowns athletic department, where it blossomed into discussion of the Hoyas possibly having a new state-of-the-art baseball facility in Alexandria, fairly close to campus. While Pete and I continued to dream of a baseball stadium here, in order to see this plan to fruition, the City of Alexandria government had to be involved.

Enter Councilman Frank Fannon.
Frank supported bringing Georgetown to Alexandria as an example of a private / public partnership, one that would benefit both the Hoyas and Franks constituents. A new upgraded facility at Four Mile Run Park for baseball would enhance the sport in the city, as children and adults would play on a new field that would be second-to-none in the D.C. metro area. But the biggest bonus of all, right in the wheelhouse, is that Alexandria taxpayers would not spend one penny for the project.
Through Franks diligence, along with Mac Slover and others in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, Georgetown Universitys proposal to build their baseball and softball stadiums will soon appear before City Council, where members can review the plans and hopefully unanimously approve the project.
Upon completion, the City of Alexandria will have a new baseball stadium, available for Bishop Ireton High School, Alexandria Little League, American Legion Post 129, mens adult baseball and the Alexandria Aces. 
Anyone interested in discussing this exciting possibility with me can find me sitting in the bleachers at Mann Field this summer, enjoying Aces baseball. Lets talk! Working together, we can build a great legacy for future generations of baseball and softball fans in Alexandria. 
Hoya Saxa! and Go Aces!