Aberdeen is closer to obtaining an outside firm to manage non-baseball events at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium, home of the Aberdeen IronBirds (Short Season A; NY-Penn League).
One of the pressing issues between the city and Tufton Baseball LLC–the Ripken-backed entity that owns the team–has been the licensing agreement for non-IronBird events at the ballpark. The agreement that runs through December 31 calls for Tufton Baseball to manage non-IronBird events at the ballpark, while keeping revenues and paying the city an annual license fee.
Should that agreement expire, the arrangement could revert back to seeing the city handling non-IronBird events at the ballpark. While Tufton reportedly offered to continue managing events for 2018 and to provide the city with 10 percent of revenues, the city is said to have not responded to that offer. Earlier this week, Aberdeen–where officials have already stated their intent to pursue a sale of Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium–said it is not ruling out an agreement with Tufton, but has identified the Huntley Group as a contender to handle ballpark events next year. More from The Aegis:
The Huntley Group is a partnership among Pinkard Properties in Towson, MFS Advisors in New York and Dave Huntley, “a living legend in lacrosse,” said Athan Sunderland, executive vice president of Pinkard Properties, a Baltimore commercial realty firm.
“Our objective for the city of Aberdeen is to help the city program an asset that is hugely valuable to the community, to local business and to the general pride of an entire area because the Ripken brand is so wonderful,” Sunderland said Thursday.
He sees a three-way win, he said, between the city of Aberdeen, Tufton and the Ripkens, and Huntley Sports Group.
But buying Ripken Stadium from the city is not the “driving force” in the agreement being negotiated between Aberdeen and Huntley on managing non-baseball events.
As noted, the city has made clear its intention to pursue a sale of Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. While it is reportedly planning to move ahead with that effort, it is holding off on actively pursuing a sale until it resolves an issue concerning general obligation bonds used to help pay for the ballpark’s construction.
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