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Fredericksburg: We have deal to bring in Hagerstown Suns

Hagerstown SunsA day after Hagerstown officials pitched a new downtown ballpark, Fredericksburg (Va.) officials say they have a conceptual deal to bring the Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) to their city.

The timing isn’t coincidental: both sides are bringing forward their best offers in what’s perceived as the final stretch to determine the future of the franchise. The deal between Fredericksburg and the Suns is billed by the city as being conceptual — in other words, there’s no final agreement. But with private investors, the Suns ownership and the city signing off on the broad outlines of a deal, it’s safe to say Fredericksburg has a huge advantage in bringing affiliated ball to town. From

The Suns, city negotiation team and New Jersey-based Diamond Nation released a mutually approved statement Wednesday evening saying that the three entities “have reached agreement on a conceptual deal structure” regarding a financing plan for a complex at Celebrate Virginia South that would include a 5,000-seat stadium and at least five artificial turf fields for baseball and softball amateur camps and tournaments….

The city of Fredericksburg is expected to release details about the financing proposal Thursday. It includes an array of economic incentives that would allow the Suns and Diamond Nation to receive reimbursements of tax revenues that the complex generates for the city. That would mean the team and Diamond Nation bearing most of the risk and having incentives to perform and recoup more tax revenues.

The agreement that has been reached calls for the team to finance the majority of the upfront costs on a complex estimated to cost $38 million. The city has been asked to pay for the 1,800-space parking lot that could be used by the Suns, Diamond Nation and the city for special events in Celebrate Virginia such as the Marine Corps Historic Half race.

Meanwhile, we wouldn’t feel too sad for Hagerstown. The funding sources for a new Suns ballpark could easily be applied to, say, another affiliated team or an independent Atlantic League team.

RELATED STORIES: Hagerstown: Yes, we really do want a downtown ballpark; Private financing pitched for new Suns ballpark; Fredericksburg, Suns to meet Tuesday to discuss new ballpark deal; Fredericksburg: We have five weeks to negotiate Suns lease; Fredericksburg: We need better deal from Suns; 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 StadiumAnonymous donor pledges $15M for new Hagerstown ballpark; Hagerstown: Construction of new ballpark could begin next springWinchester: We’re not optimistic about landing SunsHagerstown takes first step toward ballpark fundingHagerstown mayor: We’re close to long-term lease with Suns; Hagerstown: Let’s begin designing new downtown ballpark


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