A committee charged with mapping the finances and future of a proposed Spotsylvania County (Va.) ballpark for the Hagerstown Suns (Low Class A; Sally League) revealed wide disagreements on how to accomplish the task.
The Suns have pitched a 5,500-seat ballpark plan that calls for the county’s Economic Development Authority to spend $27.75 million on a ballpark (including interest costs) and $15 million on a parking ramp. The Suns would invest $8 million in the ballpark and pay $150,000 annually in lease payments. The ballpark would be located on a 9-acre parcel south of CarMax in the Southpoint II development, and the county has approached the corporate landowner for a donation.
That’s the starting point for talks. The question is how the county’s investment would be repaid, and that’s where the fault lines on the committee were exposed. One idea was to impose an admissions tax on tickets, a proposal that didn’t generate much support from other committee members: it would require state approval. Another idea had the team’s rent raised from $150,000 to $500,000 annually — a level that probably wouldn’t pass muster with the South Atlantic League or MiLB. In any case, it sounds like this first meeting was more an airing of grievances than any movement toward a final plan, per this newspaper article.
The team has a lease at Hagerstown’s Municipal Stadium through 2016.
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