Fans of the Elizabethton Twins (rookie; Appalachian League) have lobbied the city to vote on upgrades to Joe O’Brien Field and ensure the team’s future.
It has been known for much of this year that the Minnesota Twins want to see upgrades to Joe O’Brien Field, which first opened in 1974. While new clubhouses are at the center of talks, renovations to the ballpark would also be likely to target fan amenities such as seating.
Initially slated to cost about $1 million, the effort has stalled thus far. Last month the Twins said that they wanted to hold off on the project, in part because the team was–and still is–on the search for a new general manager. Meanwhile, there has been some questions in Elizabethton about whether the city will follow through with the upgrades and if the cost will rise.
It was initially suggest this spring, at a meeting that included E-Twins general manager Mike Mains, that the Twins would be willing to pay 1/3 of the $1 million price tag. However, with that contribution in doubt, fans in Elizabethton gave a petition in support of the upgrades to the city council last week. More from the Johnson City Press:
Since that time, the Minnesota Twins have taken back the offer to pay a third when the team did not get a response from the City Council.
The community’s concerns led to the presentation to the council last week of a petition with 1,674 names calling for the city to work with the Minnesota Twins to keep the rookie team here. The petition was presented to the council by Debbie Alexander, [businessman Richard] Barker’s sister and O’Brien’s granddaughter.
The city council did not take any action upon receiving the petition.