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Ottawa committee approves $5.7M in ballpark improvements

Eastern LeagueWe’re another step closer to affiliated ball returning to Ottawa, as a city finance committee today approved $5.7 million in spending on renovations to Ottawa Stadium for the 2013 season.

The full Ottawa City Council is expected to approve the spending plan next Wednesday.

Beacon Sports, a Boston-based finance firm, has been negotiating with the city over the move of a Class AA Eastern League team to the former home of International League ball in the Canadian capital.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Beacon’s franchise would initially put up $5.5 million. Of that, $2 million would go toward stadium improvements such as field maintenance equipment, furniture, fixtures, and clubhouse, suite and concession equipment, with another $1 million to lease a new video scoreboard and about $2.5 million for team startup costs in areas such as staffing, marketing and advertising, a city staff report says.

The city’s contribution would include $2.7 million in delayed maintenance that would need to be done anyway, such as repairing parts of the seating bowl, replacing chain-link fence and installing new netting and screens, plus a further $3 million to bring the stadium up to current minor-league standards by installing artificial turf and a batting tunnel and paying for installation of the scoreboard, the report says.

The city would charge rent of $257,000 a year for the first 10-year term and the first five-year extension, assuming it is exercised, the report says. (Current tenants at the stadium pay $108,000 a year.) That would allow the city to recover over 15 years the $3 million related to boosting the stadium’s standards.

RELATED STORIES: Blue Jays GM: We’re not shifting affiliation to Ottawa; It’s official: Eastern League to Ottawa in 2013; Report: Eastern League to Ottawa in 2013; Ottawa puts off ballpark decision; Ottawa baseball bid losing steam?; No, Canada; Group seeks Ottawa Stadium lease for 2013 and beyond; Ottawa out of running for SWB Yankees — but in line for affiliated ball; NY Yankees making moves with minor-league teams; Fat Cats owners may seek affiliated team for Ottawa; Valcke: Baseball can work in Ottawa; Ottawa: Ballpark should be converted to concert venue; Affiliated ball may be returning to Ottawa


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