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Frederick reopens ballpark-lease discussions

Frederick KeysA proposed lease between the Frederick Keys (High Class A; Carolina League) and the city for Harry Grove Stadium will be reevaluated after city aldermen questioned why a higher bid from the independent Atlantic League was rejected.

City officials will meet with Keys officials today to address some of these shortcomings — specifically, in the area of parking, where an Atlantic League group bid submitted by managing partner Jack Lavoie promised more revenue over time. (The big loser in all this: fans, who will need to pay at a ballpark where the parking was free.) In fact, two aldermen said it appeared that the Atlantic League submitted the better bid, though in the end the city went with affiliated ball. (Reps for Mayor Randy McClement say the Keys did indeed submit the higher bid.) Because of the way the bid specifications were written up, terms of each bid can’t easily be directly compared; Lavoie submitted more one bid, including one for 15 years instead of the 10 specified in the guidelines.

We’re not expecting a whole of changes to what the Keys proposed in their winning bid; one criteria stressed by McClement and other aldermen is the affiliated baseball offered up by the Keys. And while Lavoie may have submitted a better bid in some respects, the draw of affiliated ball will always be a strong one. As we wrote earlier this week, we expected the aldermen to tinker with the lease terms — and that’s exactly what’s happening.

RELATED STORIES: Keys, Frederick have draft lease; alderment want more information; Frederick committee recommends Keys retain ballpark lease; Two bids submitted for Frederick lease; Keys: We want to stay in Frederick; Frederick: Affiliated team to have advantage in ballpark bidding; Frederick to put ballpark lease to bid; Keys on market; Ballpark Visit: Harry Grove Stadium / Frederick Keys


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