Joe O’Brien Field is in line for major upgrades, as the Elizabethton City Council has approved a plan to renovate the home of the Elizabethton Twins (Rookie; Appalachian League).
Elizabethton has been in talks with Minnesota Twins officials for upgrades for some time. Over the summer it seemed that a plan would be approved, but talks were shelved due to a variety of factors, including a vacancy in the Twins general manager position.
On Thursday, Elizabethton voted to move ahead with plans to give Joe O’Brien Field a $3.2 million overhaul. Some details, including the final financial terms with the Twins, still need to be addressed, but the E-Twins believe that this plan will put the club in a better direction in the future. More from WJHL.com:
“For 43 years we’ve basically ran this program as a recreational service to our community so now we need to take it another direction see what we can do off the field with revenue producing advertising and basically ticket sales too,” Parks and Recreation Director, Mike Mains said.
That $3.2 million does not account for additional staff and they are hoping to raise ticket prices by only one dollar each.
The task force and the city are still trying to figure out exactly how this will get paid for, hoping to fundraise as well as get some private donations. City officials are unsure how this will effect property taxes.
Potential amenities from the upgrades, which include overhauled seating and new picnic space, were presented by a citizens task force. Elizabethton officials are still hopeful that the Twins will cover about one-third of the $3.2 million price tag.
RELATED STORIES: Twins, Elizabethton Officials to Discuss Ballpark Upgrades; Push Made to Keep Twins in Elizabethton Continues; Joe O’Brien Field Improvements on Hold; Elizabethton Budget Excludes Ballpark Upgrades