Bruce Quinn, majority owner of the Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League), met with Fredericksburg (Va.) officials last night about a potential new ballpark and how it could be funded.
Quinn has been negotiating with Hagerstown officials about a new ballpark, but those discussions have stalled. With Fredericksburg officials working on a ballpark plan for several months, the meeting was to designed to find some common ground in terms of timing and funding. The plan, as it stands now, has the Suns. From Fredericksburg.com:
The Suns have proposed to lease a publicly financed, $29.5 million stadium from the city for 30 years at an annual cost of $105,000. The team would also contribute to the city half its naming rights proceeds and 15 percent of its net profits in excess of $700,000.
And the team has agreed to put up $3 million up front to acquire the land for the stadium, with one possibility being the 38-acre parcel that was once intended to be home to the National Slavery Museum. The team would be responsible for all construction costs beyond $29.5 million and would cover all capital improvements and maintenance costs on the stadium beyond the up to $100,000 the city would contribute annually.
To cover much of the estimated $1.84 million in annual debt service, a tax district on Central Park and Celebrate Virginia properties has been proposed that could require affected property owners to pay a new tax of as much as 32 cents per $100 of assessed value. Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw said there has been ample opposition to that tax district from Central Park owners.
If the political pressure grows too intense, Quinn threw out the possibility of a ticket surcharge, but it’s hard to see that making up some $1.84 million a year. And none of this is written in stone, although final details are expected to be completed in time for a July 9 public hearing.
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