Renovation plans to Joe O’Brien Field have been put aside, as the Elizabeth Twins (Rookie; Appalachian League) and Minnesota Twins take more time to map out the proposal.
Joe O’Brien has been the subject of renovation talks for much of this year. The ballpark, which first opened in 1974, has been expected to receive about $1 million in upgrades that target fan and player amenities. Work would be done to the clubhouses, along with improvements to the seating . (E-Twins general manager Mike Mains talked more about the potential upgrades in a recent interview with Ballpark Digest.)
To this point, the Twins have been expected to kick in about 1/3 of the cost. While the franchise is still interested in talking about changes to Joe O’Brien Field, its baseball operations are in a state of flux. General manager Terry Ryan was dismissed by the Twins in the middle of July, with the club appointing Rob Antony in an interim capacity until a permanent successor is named.
Until that process is complete, the Twins want to shelve renovation talks, mainly so that a new GM could have some say in the work. Twins president David St. Peter recently submitted this request in an email to Elizabethton mayor Curt Alexander. More from WJHL.com:
St. Peter wrote, “because we have no insight into what is included in this proposal, it is in everyone’s best interest to step back and regroup.”
“We would like to have a better understanding of this project as we move forward with a new General Manager,” St. Peter wrote.
Mayor Alexander told News Channel 11 the city will continue negotiations. “We are absolutely committed to renovating the stadium and keeping the Twins in Elizabethton,” Alexander said.
Prior to that correspondence, the city council was expected to vote on a memorandum of understanding that outlined the project.
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