On Monday, Aberdeen officials approved a plan for a Pennsylvania-based firm to determine the “useful life” of Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium, home of the Aberdeen IronBirds (Short Season A; NY-Penn League).
There have been issues between the city and the IronBirds, as the two sides have been unable to come to terms on a new licensing agreement. The current deal that runs through December 31 calls for Tufton Baseball, LLC–the parent company of the team–to manage non-IronBird related events at the ballpark, while keeping revenues and paying the city an annual licence fee, which currently stands at $95,000.
With the two sides still unable to finalize a new agreement, the arrangement could ultimately revert back to seeing the city manage non-baseball events once the current deal expires. Aberdeen also revealed earlier this month that it would seek a buyer for Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium, as Tufton reportedly turned down an offer to buy the ballpark.
Going forward, Aberdeen officials are hoping to get a better sense of the ballpark’s condition. As part of a contract approved by the Aberdeen mayor and city council on Monday, Shahl Sheaffer Engineering of State College will receive $79,438 to perform a condition analysis of Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. More from The Aegis:
A similar study finished in July 2016 identified $3.2 million in repairs and enhancements needed for the stadium over the next 10 years, the most pressing of which was about $1 million to replace the stadium railings and repair their supporting concrete.
This study is “a little more focused,” Public Works Director Kyle Torster told the mayor and city council.
“We want to identify the long-term viability of the stadium, what future requirements we need to do in the next 15 to 20 years,” Torster said.
The council also passed a budget amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget to pay for the study; a public hearing will be held at the next city council meeting Monday, Nov. 14.
Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium has been home to the IronBirds since its opening in 2002. The team’s lease agreement at the ballpark runs through the 2022 season.
RELATED STORIES: Aberdeen to Seek Buyer for Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium