An affiliated team will have an advantage in the bidding for Harry Grove Stadium, currently the home of the Frederick Keys (High Class A; Carolina League), according to city officials prepping the bid package.
The city has been working on a bid specification since the beginning of the year, and it’s a tightrope: on the one hand, city officials want to see a long-term lease in place (the Keys have been operating on a series of one-year leases since the 2009 season), but they also admit they don’t want to lose affiliated ball, either. No matter how persuasive Peter Kirk and John Lavoie might be about the financial advantages of independent baseball for the city as opposed to the Keys’ $30,000 annual lease payment, there’s the cachet of affiliated ball they cannot match.
So, we’re told, the city’s bidding process will give extra points to those presenting affiliated ball as their option. We’re also told other considerations include the length of the lease and how much a leaseholder would be willing to invest in ballpark upgrades. How much weight all these issues will have remains to be seen when any RFP is released.
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