Top Menu

Fredericksburg ballpark deal moves forward — slightly

Hagerstown SunsA day after a local investor was brought into the mix, the Fredericksburg (Va.) City Council voted to approve the broad outlines of a Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) ballpark deal — but an attempt to buy the land fell short.

The broad outlines of the plan: a group that includes the Sun ownership, Diamond Nation ownership and local car dealer Ron Rosner would build the $29-million sports complex that would include a new Suns ballpark, five practice fields and support facilities. The city would build a $7 million parking lot and set up some tax incentives to bring additional revenue to the ownership group.

That plan, broadly outlined, was approved by the City Council last night. But there are plenty of moving parts to the deal that are still being negotiated. The 38-acre ballpark site is still tied up in court proceedings, and an attempt to buy it for $1.5 million out of Spotsylvania Circuit Court was rebuffed, leaving the city and the team owners to continue negotiations to buy the property. Also, the nature of any tax breaks still needs to be finalized, along with an assessment of the project’s economic impact: Diamond Nation estimates a $4 million impact in sales, meals and lodging tax revenues; the city’s estimate is closer to $2 million. That’s a huge gap in impact and, by extension, any possible tax rebates.

So while the local press hails a unanimous vote supporting the concept of a new ballpark as a huge milestone, it’s really not. The devil is always in the details when it comes to ballpark development, and some major details — like land acquisition and taxpayer support — still need to be finalized.

RELATED STORIES: Local investor boosts Fredericksburg ballpark plan; Fredericksburg: We have deal to bring in Hagerstown Suns; 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


Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at

Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.

Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!

Follow Ballpark Digest on Google + and add us to your circles!

, , , , , ,