With some fans skeptical about Municipal Stadium’s problems, Hagerstown officials held behind-the-scenes tours of the facility to show exactly what’s wrong with it — and why the issues can’t be fixed.
Major problem areas include insufficient fan amenities, press and media facilities, administration areas, team clubhouses, dugouts and the actual playing surface, according to city engineer Rodney Tissue.
Expanding the facility to bring it up to Major League Baseball standards is viewed as just about impossible due to site constraints from neighboring properties and the field itself is prone to heavy flooding that doesn’t drain well after rain storms, Tissue said.
Amenities at modern ballparks include a regulation field with adequate drainage, group suites, field-facing concessions and concourses and party decks that can help create a community gathering place that isn’t just about baseball, Tissue said. He also pointed out that Municipal Stadium has ranked last out of all 14 teams in the South Atlantic League in just about every field categories as rated by team turf managers.
Part of the opposition to a new downtown ballpark for the Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) has been the feeling that Municipal Stadium is just fine and that it can be used in its present condition. The tour was designed to address that opposition.
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