The Lowell Spinners (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) are extending their stay at LeLacheur Park, as the club has agreed to terms with the city.
The Spinners have called LeLacheur Park their home since 1998, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Under the terms of their agreement, the Spinners will sign a 10-year lease to remain at LeLacheur Park. In addition, the lease includes two five years options that, if exercised, would keep the team at the ballpark for up to 20 years.
This comes about a year after Dave Heller and Main Street Baseball closed on its purchase of the franchise. Since the ownership change, it has been expected that upgrades to LeLacheur Park will eventually take place, and the terms of the lease detail how those projects will transpire. More from The Lowell Sun:
As part of the agreement, the city will borrow and contribute $1.6 million for renovations around the park, including a new playing surface and LED energy-efficient lights. The Spinners are a short-season Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, and Heller said many of the planned improvements are required by Minor League Baseball to bring LeLacheur up to league standards.
Sections of the park will ramp up advertising. The project will also construct a new two-tier “group area” in right field to host businesses and organizations during games.
“It’s a great and necessary addition to the ballpark,” Heller said.
In return, the Spinners will pay $192,000 in rent each year during the lease, which Murphy said will cover the debt service on the city’s $1.6 million contribution. The previous lease, signed in May 2009, charged a base rate $180,000 per year in rent that increased 1 percent annually.
The lease was approved by the Lowell Arena Commission this morning, and will require a vote from the Lowell City Council. As part of a separate 10-year agreement, UMass Lowell is expected to keep its baseball program at the facility.