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.
RELATED STORIES: Fredericksburg City Council to debate new Sally League ballpark; Fredericksburg officials, Quinn discuss new ballpark; Hagerstown, Fredericksburg preparing dueling ballpark plans; Fredericksburg ballpark could end up turning profit for city: study; Fredericksburg ballpark funding plan emerging; Fredericksburg touted as ideal for professional baseball; Hagerstown owner: We’d meet with Fredericksburg about new ballpark; Fredericksburg to study financial impact of new ballpark; Fredericksburg, Opening Day Partners talking new ballpark; Suns: We’ll put up cash for new ballpark if donation falls through; Will new members of Hagerstown City Council kill new-balpark plan?; See for yourself: fans get peek at problems with Municipal Stadium; Anonymous donor pledges $15M for new Hagerstown ballpark; Hagerstown: Construction of new ballpark could begin next spring; Winchester: We’re not optimistic about landing Suns; Hagerstown takes first step toward ballpark funding; Hagerstown mayor: We’re close to long-term lease with Suns; Hagerstown: Let’s begin designing new downtown ballpark
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at email@example.com.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.