After a marathon session featuring passionate folks pro and con, the Fredericksburg City Council voted to seek a better deal from the Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) on a new-ballpark deal.
The proposal has the city financing the $29.5-million project with team rent, increased property taxes in the ballpark area, ticket surcharges and the sharing of profits and naming-rights proceeds. The Suns agreed to pay $3 million to acquire the land near the Celebrate Virginia area. With borrowing, the total cost of the project would exceed $33 million.
That was too much for area politicians, who decided to pass on the proposal and directed city staff to work out a better deal with the Suns. Part of the issue was uncertainty — there’s no naming rights deal and a proposal to share in profits past $750,000 was too vague. From Fredericksburg.com:
“Unless its terms change dramatically, it is not a good deal for the city,” Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw said before the council vote early today.
She said any successful proposal needs much more investment from the team.
So let the negotiations begin.
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