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Winchester seeks lease changes for proposed Suns ballpark

Hagerstown SunsAfter some heated criticism from local residents, Winchester (Va.) officials are looking to amend a proposed lease for the relocating Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) to boost revenues.

The proposed lease called for the city to receive only a percentage of Suns revenue: 15 percent of the team’s gross revenues and 10 percent of the team ticket sales. In addition, there will be a 5 percent sales tax on purchases and 5 percent admissions tax on ticket sales. Once bonds are paid off, the team will not pay the percent of revenues and ticket sales; in other words, the team will play there rent-free once bonds are paid off. Here are the highlights.

That proposed lease is apparently off the table; it’s been taken off the city’s Website and the city has been working on an updated lease. Tuesday night the City Council will entertain a motion to transfer eight acres of land at Jim Barnett Park to the local redevelopment authority for a ballpark site; there’s no deadline for when an updated lease will be made public, but there is a sense of urgency, as the city is pitching a $15-million ballpark ready for the 2013 season.

RELATED STORIES: Hagerstown pitches downtown ballpark; Suns: Nationals forcing us from Hagerstown; Hagerstown Suns sign letter of intent for Winchester move; Hagerstown looking at new ballpark to keep Suns; Winchester preparing to offer $15 million ballpark to Suns; Hagerstown Suns in play


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