The upgrades, as proposed by the team and the Appalachian League, would conform Joe O’Brien Field to MiLB facilities standards. The issue: whether the upgrades would be enough to keep the E-Twins in town — though there’s been no overt threat to move or fold the team by the Twins. However, given that Joe O’Brien Field is viewed as a community resource and requiring a little TLC no matter if the E-Twins were a tenant, the council approved the bond measuring back the ballpark spending unanimously.
Joe O’Brien Field would receive upgrades that affect both the fan and player experience. A 5,000 square-foot clubhouse would be constructed to house both the home and visiting teams, along with player facilities such as a training room and weight room. On the fan side, the ballpark would be equipped with about 1,600 to 1,800 new seats. This plan comes with a cost estimate of about $1.5 million, covered by the proceeds of a bond issue.
The E-Twins have a long history at Joe O’Brien Field, having played at the ballpark since they were established in 1974.
RELATED STORIES: Joe O’Brien Field Upgrades Proposed; Elizabethton Mayor Concerned Over Future of E-Twins; E-Twins to Stay at Joe O’Brien Field for 2017; Joe O’Brien Field Upgrades Approved; 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