The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority voted unanimously last week against a baseball stadium in the new Cameron Valley Regional Park in Alexandria, once again leaving the park's future in doubt.
Two weeks ago the Alexandria City Council voted to study a plan that would replace the bicycle-racing velodrome proposed by the Park Authority with a baseball-soccer stadium that could be a permanent home for the Alexandria Dukes.
The minor league Dukes, which recently became part of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, have used the field at Cora Kelley Elementary School for several years.
The 55-acre park beside the Beltway was approved by the Park Authority in July after several years of negotiation with the city.
Last week, the Park Authority Board of Directors, including the two Alexandria members, voted that a stadium for a commerical baseball team would be inappropriate in the nonprofit regional park system. However, some board members previously have spoken in favor of a soccer stadium for the more than 25,000 youth soccer players in Northern Virginia.
The Park Authority has set aside $1.2 million to develop a new regional park in Northern Virginia and had long considered Cameron Valley the leading contender.
But the authority's July vote was based on a tentative agreement with Alexandria, which would donate the land, over what would go in the park. That plan, proposed by consultants, included an indoor outdoor swimming pool, soccer fields, woods and the velodrome.
Later, however, several City Council members had second thoughts about a velodrome. Those council members said they were convinced there isn't enough interest in a velodrome and that the city also is looking for a new home for the Dukes. The Dukes have a contract to play at Cora Kelly Elementary School through next summer.
Deputy City Manager James Randall said last week he is about to study the stadium idea and it potential cost and money-making ability but had no figures on it yet. Under the present city agreement with the Dukes, the team "gives the city a certain amount for admissions above $25,000 a year. I don't have the figures right now but it made the city a couple thousand, not much."
The city has pushed for soccer fields and perhaps a soccer stadium at the proposed park and a swimming complex.