Skip to content

Home Field: Virginia Credit Union Stadium, Fredericksburg, VA

When the Silber Family, the owners of the Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, got the green light to move their team to Fredericksburg, VA, for the 2021 season, they prioritized going green in creating their new, privately funded ballpark.

“Being green and being eco-friendly was a really huge focus of ours, along with the focus of being local, of the stadium during the entire planning and build process,” Nick Hall, the team’s general manager, stated to “”

Photo Courtesy MiLB

One of the most significant early decisions for the ballpark was to outfit it with synthetic turf — and not just any artificial grass. The Fredericksburg Nationals (FredNats) picked a cutting-edge turf, Shaw Sports Turf B1K system, for its new ballpark.

While this playing surface can be found in the Major League stadiums for the Texas Rangers, Miami Marlins, and the Arizona Diamondbacks, Shaw Sports Turf B1K hadn’t been used in a Minor League ballpark before being laid down in FredNats’ Virginia Credit Union Stadium for its inaugural 2020. 

“We were convinced their product was first in class for the players, our fans, and our operation,” Art Silber, the team’s principal owner and chairman, explained to “Ballpark Digest.” “We are thrilled to be the first minor league team to install this outstanding surface.”

A unique property of this Shaw Turf is its Geofill® Performance Infill. Instead of using rubber pellets as was done in older types of artificial turf, it contains natural materials, such as sand and shaved coconut husks, creating a playing surface that behaves much like high-performance natural grass. Since it is also a softer surface than older artificial turf, the Shaw Turf causes less wear and tear on players’ bodies and creates a more natural bounce, making it easier for players to field the ball.

Photo Courtesy Fredericksburg Nationals

Players, furthermore, appreciate the Shaw Turf because it keeps the field cooler compared to other types of artificial grass. They like the fact, too, that this playing surface reacts well to inclement weather. 

“The crazy thing about it was, when it would rain, you wouldn’t even notice,” Eliot Williams, the FredNats’ director of stadium operations, stated to “” “They could keep on playing. They could keep on going because you don’t have to really worry about the sod, tearing it up, or anything like that.”

Photo Courtesy Fredericksburg Nationals

This synthetic turf also requires less water and pretty much eliminates the need for irrigation, reducing water usage at the stadium by thousands of gallons. Similarly, the need for fertilizer is eliminated, preventing harmful chemicals from reaching the local watershed. Besides these environmental benefits, the turf also has economic gains as less water consumption and maintenance help lower the team’s financial bottom line. 

Lighting is the other main green element at Virginia Credit Union Stadium. The team installed LED lighting throughout the venue, and solar-powered LED light poles, with 300-watt panels and batteries, illuminate the parking lot.

Ballpark Digest” described Virginia Credit Union Stadium as being “one of the first minor league baseball parks to have 100% LED lighting.” It estimated that this decision could decrease electricity usage by 30%–50% over electrical consumption at older ballparks. 

Photo Courtesy MiLB

Hall’s mention that the team would focus on involvement in the local community did not go unheeded. The city of Fredericksburg, in fact, turned over a popular concert series to the venue basically as a way to persuade the team to move there. Virginia Credit Union Stadium has hosted tree/shrub giveaways put together by several area arbor-related organizations. 

The FredNats also have teamed with Virginia Credit Union for the Strike Out Hunger program that raises money for the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank. And lastly, let’s not forget the large playground beyond the right field — local kids certainly haven’t forgotten about it. 


Back To Top