Despite previous pleas from the Elizabethton Twins (Rookie; Appalachian League), the city’s approved budget for the upcoming fiscal year does not include ballpark upgrades.
In recent months, the Twins made it known that they would like to see improvements to Joe O’Brien Field, which first opened in 1974. Among the renovations that have been proposed included work to both clubhouses, plus overhauls of the seating and other fan amenities, with the Minnesota Twins kicking in about one-third of the project cost.
With more and more Appalachian League facilities receiving significant upgrades, it is not a surprise to see the Twins push for a renovation at this time. While the city is apparently open to the renovations, it claims that Joe O’Brien Field was omitted from the budget because there is neither a firm price tag nor timeline for the project. More from WYCB.com:
“The reason it wasn’t in the budget: we don’t have hard numbers to put in the budget,” Mayor Curt Alexander said. “We do have some money set aside fund balance wise and some other items we could pull from as well.”
The Minnesota Twins will pay for about a third of it, with the city covering the rest. The grand total is expected to be between $1.5 million and $2 million.
“We are currently working with them on seeing about phasing the projects over a period of years to make that happen,” Alexander said. “We definitely don’t want to lose the Twins.”
Elizabethton officials are working to establish a firm number for the ballpark improvements. The costs could be placed in the city’s budget within the next 60 to 90 days.