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Suns, Hagerstown discussing lease extension

Hagerstown SunsThe Hagerstown Suns (Low A; Sally League) could play at Municipal Stadium through 2018 or 2019 with possible lease extensions under current proposals.

It’s no secret the Suns have been seeking a new home for some years, either in Hagerstown or in the region. And while that search continues, it’s also no secret the Suns will need a home down the road: Municipal Stadium is still a stop-gap facility.

So while the search continues, the short-term solution is to extend the Municipal Stadium lease. The Suns and parent Washington Nationals want to see some short-term fixes applied to the facility, and the city wants to see enough rent rolling in from the Suns to cover said fixes. The City Council has discussed this in closed sessions, but Mayor David S. Gysberts says further negotiations will take place in public sessions. Both sides want to see an extension through 2018, but Hagerstown wants to see an additional year (2019) on the lease, though this could be arranged easily through some sort of option on a two-year extension — something very common in ballpark leases. From the Herald-Mail:

In its letter to the Suns in September, the Nationals requested a number of “safety and standard issues” to be addressed at the nearly 86-year-old stadium, including lingering field and clubhouse issues that have been discussed for years…..

The Nationals want the playing surface laser graded and resodded to eliminate uneven areas of turf and divots. Other needed improvements include a reconstruction of the outfield wall with new padding and a new field tarp.

Repairs are needed to dugouts and batting cage areas, as well as in the clubhouse, including installing a commercial washer and dryer, a larger ice machine, additional shelving or cabinets and extensive cleaning to address mold issues in the bathroom and shower areas, according to the letter.

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