Most of the talk for the next few months will center on Virginia Tech football with the biggest home opener in program history six days away. However, some news about one of the Hokies’ smaller-revenue/non-revenue sports flew under the radar yesterday, but may be quite significant.
— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) August 31, 2015
Virginia Tech has revealed their plans for a mass renovation of English Field as they look to raise their ballpark to the quality of the other top-end ACC ballparks at places like North Carolina, Florida State, and Virginia.
The Hokies have been building up their non-revenue sports with eyes on potentially making baseball more profitable and successful. A renovation/expansion of English Field would be a significant step in continuing to build Virginia Tech into a more complete athletic program.
With this being a significant renovation, this will most likely be done in multiple phases that could even start as soon as after this baseball season with this reveal already made. It is unknown how much it will cost, but suite seating seems to be one of the potential revenue streams.
Right now, English Field has a very mid-tier college stadium atmosphere, but this would give the Hokies a minor league level facility for an upper-tier college baseball team. This stadium would also be a great recruiting tool to go after top baseball prospects in the Richmond metro and 757 recruiting areas for Patrick Mason and his coaching staff.
Whit Babcock is a big baseball fan and sees a renovated English Field as a potential home for a minor league baseball team in addition to the Hokies. This would be difficult since there are already two minor league teams close by in the Salem Red Sox and Pulaski Yankees, who are playing in a recently renovated Calfee Park.
The desire for a minor league baseball team at a renovated English Field, and the recent deal with Carilion Clinic to sponsor the court at Cassell Coliseum means that a corporate sponsorship deal is a possibility to help fund the stadium renovations.
The English Field renovation design reveal received very little attention yesterday, but is probably the most significant announcement that the Hokies have made in the last few days.