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Consultant: Downtown Hagerstown ballpark is viable project

Hagerstown SunsRipken Design says a new downtown ballpark for the Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) is a viable project — piquing the interest of owner Bruce Quinn.

Ripken Design, a consultant hired by the city to evaluate the merits of a new downtown project as well as any renovations of Municipal Stadium, laid out a funding plan for a $30-million downtown ballpark with a third of the cost picked up by the Maryland Stadium Authority and two-thirds fro the city, county, developers and team (in unspecified proportions). It doesn’t address where the local funding would come from, but indicates the ballpark investment could be paid off in 10 years.

Suns owner Bruce Quinn is in a pretty good position right now: Winchester (Va.) has laid out a conceptual plan where the Suns would be investors in a larger-scale development that would include a ballpark, retail and restaurants; the Ripken Design plan doesn’t address adjacent development to a new downtown ballpark, but the assumption some would be attracted as part of a larger project. At this point he can continue to listen to pitches from officials in both cities without making a commitment to either.

RELATED STORIES: Winchester ballpark back on city agenda; Work continues on Suns lease extensionWinchester rejects ballpark; Suns to discuss Municipal Stadium lease extensionWinchester seeks lease changes for proposed Suns ballparkHagerstown pitches downtown ballparkSuns: Nationals forcing us from HagerstownHagerstown Suns sign letter of intent for Winchester moveHagerstown looking at new ballpark to keep SunsWinchester preparing to offer $15 million ballpark to SunsHagerstown Suns in play


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