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Mobile, BayBears in spat over ballpark rent, upkeep

Mobile BayBearsThe Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League) haven’t paid rent at Henry Aaron Stadium since 2008 and owe the city $800,000, but a lease amendment that addresses physical problems at the ballpark should also clear the debt.

The issue: the roof at the ballpark is in pretty bad shape, forcing the BayBears to withhold rent in protest after the city informed the team it did not have the money for repairs.

The solution: the BayBears will fix the roof — an amount President Bill Shanahan says would cost the city $800,000 or so — and the back rent would be forgiven. In addition, the team’s lease would be amended to decrease the base rent from $270,000 a year to $100,000, plus a percentage of the gross. The team would also pick up the utilities tab.

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