A consultant for the Maryland Stadium Authority has recommended $5.7 million in upgrades to Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, home of the Delmarva Shorebirds (Low Class A; Sally League).
The report recommends changes to bring the ballpark up to modern standards, including the installation of a new scoreboard, new field and drainage system, a new wraparound concourse with berm, and upgraded seating. The changes would boost attendance (and, we presume, per caps) by 10-15 percent, leading to $1.4 million in new economic spending and the creation of 20-30 new jobs outside the ballpark. The consultant does not specify a financing tool to accomplish these upgrades. From Delmarva Now:
Crossroads Consulting Services of Tampa, Fla., prepared the report to help guide lease negotiations between Wicomico County and the Delmarva Shorebirds’ owner, 7th Inning Stretch LP. The agreement expires next year.
The report doesn’t specify who will pay for the improvements: the public, the team’s owners or both. Nor does it provide a time line for the work. Such details will be worked out in the negotiations, said Susan Sieger, president of Crossroads Consulting.
Many of the upgrades are necessary to help ensure the stadium remains profitable and competitive with its peers in minor league baseball, she said. The recommendations grew out of proposals offered during the ongoing stadium talks.
Perdue Stadium opened in 1996 and has not undergone any major upgrades since it opened. As noted, the team’s lease expires after the 2015 season. Given that Sally League teams are in some demand and having a portable franchise is very desirable in today’s MiLB business marketplace, the team does have some leverage in asking for some very basic upgrades.
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