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BizSense Beat: May 10, 2024

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BizSense Beat is a weekly collaboration between VPM News and Richmond BizSense that brings you the top business stories during NPR's Morning Edition on Fridays.

Here’s a recap of the top stories for the week of May 10, 2024:

City Council to vote Wednesday on new Diamond District financing plan
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jonathan Spiers

With a vote scheduled Wednesday on the city’s revamped proposal to finance the ballpark-anchored Diamond District development, Richmonders for and against the new plan will have a chance to step up to the plate and be heard by City Council.

A special meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. tomorrow for council to consider a group of ordinances that would advance the new approach to financing the stadium and infrastructure improvements for the Diamond District’s first phase, the scope of which has changed along with the funding method.

Citizens can weigh in during Wednesday’s hearing, which was initially planned to be held at council’s April 22 meeting but was moved to the May 8 special meeting.

Where the Diamond District’s first phase had been planned to be financed primarily using higher-interest bonds through a community development authority (CDA), Richmond’s administrators and financial advisor Davenport & Co. are now recommending that the city issue $170 million of its own bonds to secure the funding more quickly and at less cost in terms of debt.

Tri-City Chili Peppers get some extra glow with ‘Cosmic Baseball’ under black lights
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

In a bid to continue growing their fan base, the Tri-City Chili Peppers – the region’s other minor league baseball team – are turning off the lights.

This summer the franchise, which plays its home games at Shepherd Stadium in Colonial Heights, is debuting what it calls “cosmic baseball,” where the ballpark will be lit under black lights, and the players’ bats, balls and uniforms will glow in the dark.

It’s the latest move the team is making to draw crowds for its fourth season in the Colonial Plain League, an amateur baseball league that’s free from MLB affiliations and popular among collegiate players looking to play ball over the summer. In this league the Savannah Bananas vaulted from humble minor league club to national sensation that now sells out major league ballparks.

RVA Power Women: Meet this year’s finalists
Reported by Richmond Bizsense

Read the bios of the 45 finalists for this year’s RVA Power Women Awards, presented by Brown Edwards. The winners from each of the 15 categories were announced at a gala on May 9 at Dover Hall.

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