The Elizabethton Twins (Rookie; Appalachian League) will stay at Joe O’Brien Field in 2017, giving city and team officials more time to discuss ballpark upgrades.
The E-Twins and their parent club Minnesota Twins have been in talks with the City of Elizabethton about potential upgrades at Joe O’Brien Field. Discussions were off and on for much of this year, but there was some progress made this fall. Last month, the Elizabethton City Council approved the framework for $3.2 million in improvements to the facility, but some details, including the final funding plan, still need to be resolved.
Elizabethton mayor Curt Alexander received an email from the Twins director of minor league operations Brad Steil, who confirmed that the E-Twins will play out of Joe O’Brien Field next season. The team, however, is making it clear that a more modern facility is still the end goal. More from the Johnson City Press:
Steil said the commitment to continue playing in Elizabethton doesn’t extend past the 2017 season “but we still want to pursue a long-term facility solution to stay in Elizabethton. As I indicated to Mike, the next 60 days will be critical to the future of the project.”
The announcement came a month after the Elizabethton City Council agreed to a proposal for a $3.2 million upgrade to the Elizabethton Twins’ home field, Joe O’Brien Field. City Council hopes the Minnesota Twins will provide $600,000 towards the renovations.
In his letter to Alexander, Stiel wrote “this one-year extension of our arrangement is only a temporary solution and is not intended to be a commitment to remain in Elizabethton into the future. Our focus remains on finding a long-term facility that meets the needs of both minor league standards and the specific needs of the Minnesota Twins. We will continue to explore all viable alternatives for such a facility.
“Rest assured, the Minnesota Twins value the longstanding partnership and look forward to receiving greater detail on Elizabethton’s planned renovations for Joe O’Brien Field.”
Joe O’Brien Field has been home to the E-Twins since 1974.
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